The United States National Security Agency Contractor Edward Snowden

1771 Words May 2nd, 2016 8 Pages
In 2013, former United States National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden laid bay that America had become a Dystopia of electronic surveillance and pushed to the forefront the question “does the American Constitution need to be amended to protect privacy rights in the digital age?” Less than a year later Americans are thrust at another crossroad with privacy rights vs. modern scientific medicine and technology by American poet, fiction writer, and journalist Susan Scutti article The Government Owns Your DNA. What Are They Doing With It?

Scutti’s Newsweek article is one of many articles published on genetic testing for newborns in the United States. Genetic testing for neonates dates back to the 1960s when President Kennedy signed Public Law 88-164 and Public Law 88-156. These Acts authorized the federal government to offer grants to states for mental retardation programs.

Robert MacCready, who was the chair of National Association for Retarded Citizens
(NARC) Public Health Services Committee took advantage of the Acts and joined with the state laboratory director of Massachusetts. Together they initiated a newborn screening program to test for phenylketonuria (PKU) a rare genetic disease. Delay in diagnosis and treatment of PKU would lead to mental retardation and death.

Few newborn were diagnosed with PKU, but the benefit of an earlier analysis encouraged other states to introduce screening programs. Over the years 46 states mandated screening for six inherited…

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