Obamacare is here. Genetic profiling has arrived at a school near you
Palo Alto child kicked out of school for disease he does not have.
School officials are ordering a boy to transfer to another middle school because he as the gene for cystic fibrosis, While he has the gene for the condition, he does not actually have the disease. The school already has one other student with the disease.
This healthy young boy was kicked out of school for the offense of having a gene for a disease he does not have.
Cystic fibrosis is a genetic condition that causes the body to produce very thick mucus. This mucus can clog the lungs and cause infections. Eventually, this condition proves fatal, with most victims living into their late 30's.
About 30,000 adults in the US have the disease.
Despite the fact the disease is not contagious, there is a risk of what researchers call "bacterial cross-contamination" if two people with the condition come into contact. Doctors have long advised that people with the condition stay as far apart as possible because the results can be fatal.
However, in this case, Colman does not actually have the disease, just the gene. However, another student at the school does have the illness. School officials were worried that the other student could become ill around Colman and they would then face a lawsuit.
The school says the "zero risk option" was to transfer Colman.
The family is appealing the decision, since they do not believe it is just for their child to be forced to transfer schools when he was making friends and bonding with teachers without posing any actual risk to others.
Ultimately, in an age of genetic data and record keeping, much of what is happening with the pending arrival of Obamacare, there is a new attitude of being so risk adverse that merely having a genetic proclivity towards something warrants segregation.
Down this slippery slope comes genetic profiling and a brave new world of genetically-based racism.
It is likely the school has overreacted in this case and was acting to avert a possible lawsuit, should the other child become sick. However, in trying to dodge one unlikely lawsuit, they may have caught another.
The school is required to follow due process when transferring a student against their will. The school did not use due process in this case. They have not also evaluated the true risk that Colman does not actually pose to the other child.
Of course, had Colman's parents never mentioned on nursing forms that he had the gene for the disease, none of this would have happened. However, in the coming age of indelible medical records and genetic profiling, what is happening here is merely a harbinger of things to come.
© 2012, Distributed by NEWS CONSORTIUM.
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Pope Benedict XVI's Prayer Intentions for January 2013
General Intention: The Faith of Christians. That in this Year of Faith Christians may deepen their knowledge of the mystery of Christ and witness joyfully to the gift of faith in him.
Missionary Intention: Middle Eastern Christians. That the Christian communities of the Middle East, often discriminated against, may receive from the Holy Spirit the strength of fidelity and perseverance.
Keywords: genetic profiling, Obamacare, cystic fibrosis
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