Should You Be Allowed to Know What’s in Your DNA?
“You can’t handle the truth!” That’s the federal government’s latest message to Americans seeking to learn the content of their own DNA.
July 15, 2010 – by Paul Hsieh
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Opponents of direct-to-consumer genetic testing typically raise three standard objections, including: (1) the test results may be inaccurate; (2) even if the results are accurate, customers will not know what to do with the information; and (3) customers may learn about genetic defects that could make health insurance prohibitively expensive or impossible to purchase. However, a truly free market in health services and health insurance would address all of these concerns.
Customers concerned about the reliability and accuracy of their test results are best served by a free market that subjects products to the pitiless scrutiny of consumers seeking the best value for their money. Of course, if an unscrupulous company makes fraudulent claims about its services, it should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. Protecting consumers against fraud is one of the proper functions of government. But if personal genomics companies otherwise truthfully describe the capabilities and limitations of their tests, then the early adopters should be left free to exercise their best judgment as to whether they wish to purchase those services.
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If it’s my body, who is the Gooferment to interfere?
Prevent force or fraud, fine. Keep me from making a mistake, not so good. Tell me I can’t have the use of my own body, tyranny.
Time to pound the FDA back into historical irrelevancy. Who would you trust with your health? (1) Politicians and bureaucrats; or (2) a free market with Walmart, Walgreens, and innumerable competitors “supervised” by Consumer’s Reports, Underwriters Laboratory, the media, the general public, and the Trial Lawyers?
Give me the market any time. Keep your Gooferment “help” to yourself.
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