福祸相依的基因筛选

知识的进步经常是祸福相依。过去60年来,核物理学一直是这一真理的明证,而今后的60年里,遗传学很可能成为另一个佐证。

今天,一些雄心勃勃的公司推出个人基因蓝图的收费项目。他们宣称,了解自己的基因有助于延长寿命,改善生活。例如,如果你知道自己最有可能患什么病,就可以多做一些体检,发现这些疾病的早期迹象,或者可以改变饮食习惯,降低患病风险。如果你长寿的可能性不太高,就可以买更多的人寿保险,甚至提前退休,以便有足够的时间做自己一直想做的事。

个人隐私的捍卫者努力阻止保险公司在发放人寿保险前要求投保人接受基因检查,并且取得了一些成效。但是如果个人可以做检查而保险公司不行,那么如果有人隐瞒通过检查得到的不良基因信息,购买额外的人寿保险,实际上就是在欺骗其他的人寿保险投保人。保险公司为了弥补损失不得不提高保费,而基因预后结果良好的人为了不倒贴那些隐瞒真相的人,则可能选择不买人寿保险,从而将保费进一步推高。

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