Genetic Engineering in the Workplace

Genetic testing in the workplace is definitely a notable breakthrough in medicine and the job market as well. Genetic engineering would bring benefit both to employers and employees, but the ethical side of the issue is still to be discussed.

First of all, genetic testing could be used for preventing and detecting occupational diseases among employees. Almost 400.000 workers suffer from disabling illnesses yearly while the quarter of them dies (Andre & Velasquez, 2015). Naturally, it causes serious losses due to a lowered productivity and insurance payments, so genetic engineering would help employers to hire healthy staff. Moreover, it would remove the danger of workers families being left without breadwinner after his death or an officially confirmed working disability.

However, the obligatory genetic testing may cause various ethical dilemmas that are always hard to solve. For example, it may be an encroachment on the right of privacy in case the testing results come to the third hands (McDonald & Williams-Jones, 2002). Furthermore, failed genetic test could be the reason for a person losing a job and being left out of the loop.

From the perspective of ethical theories, genetic engineering has no conflicts with Utilitarian principles since it will produce the desired result in any conditions. On the other hand, the innovation cannot be approved as it currently is by Virtue Ethics. This theory focuses on the character of a person, thus, any ethical dilemma should be eliminated before making a decision.

All in all, possible ethical contradictions caused by genetic engineering in the workplace obscure the obvious advantages of this innovation, so the solution of numerous ethical dilemmas would allow both employers and employees to have benefit from the developing genetic technologies.


Andre, C., & Velasquez, M. (2015). Read My Genes: Genetic Screening in the Workplace. Web.

McDonald, C., & Williams-Jones, B. (2002). Ethics and Genetics: Susceptibility Testing in the Workplace. Journal of Business Ethics, 35(3), 235-241.

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