La ventaja a medias de la selección genética

El avance del conocimiento, muchas veces, es una ventaja a medias. En los últimos 60 años, la física nuclear ha sido un ejemplo obvio de esta verdad. En los próximos 60 años, la genética puede ser otro.

Hoy, compañías emprendedoras ofrecen, a cambio de un honorario, brindarnos información sobre nuestros genes. Dicen que este conocimiento nos ayudará a vivir más y mejor. Podríamos, por ejemplo, hacernos chequeos adicionales para detectar señales tempranas de las enfermedades que más riesgo tenemos de contraer o alterar nuestra dieta para reducir ese riesgo. Si nuestras probabilidades de una vida prolongada no son buenas, podríamos comprar más seguro de vida o incluso jubilarnos antes y así tener suficiente tiempo para hacer lo que siempre quisimos hacer.

Los defensores de la privacidad se esforzaron, con cierto éxito, para impedir que las compañías de seguro exigieran pruebas genéticas antes de emitir un seguro de vida. Pero si los individuos pueden llevar a cabo las pruebas que se les prohíben a las compañías de seguro, y si quienes reciben información genética adversa entonces compran seguro de vida adicional sin revelar las pruebas que se realizaron, están engañando a otros tenedores de seguros de vida. Las primas tendrán que aumentar para cubrir las pérdidas y quienes tengan una buena prognosis genética pueden rescindir su seguro de vida para evitar subsidiar los engaños, haciendo que las primas suban aún más.

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