Physical Privacy


What is genetic testing? It is a process which involves the detection of the genetic traits, changes in chromosomes or DNA. Two activities are encompassed: monitoring and screening which are used in workplaces. Physical privacy is more likely same to genetic privacy, which stemmed from the scientific and technological developments. Interest lies in privacy of DNA. There are concerns for the physical privacy and expert has distinguished the privacy concerns in four categories and Physical privacy or bodily privacy is one of them.

Genetic Testing In Workplaces

Changes in genetic materials are identified by the genetic monitoring and screening methods applied in individuals or groups. When traits or modifications are detected, individuals are informed about the potential of risk of diseases. However genetic monitoring and screening tests are applied to the group of people to identify the probability of disease developments, counseling, prevention and early treatment measures. It is not a long standing practice of employers to facilitate the employees with genetic monitoring and screening, even those employees who are at high risk. Screening and genetic monitoring are fueled due to recent developments of tests for the genetic disorders. AIDS and Drug testing of workers in workplaces has increased the interest of the employers. This practice of genetic testing could become widespread because workers need the information about the genetic discrimination.

Applying the genetic screening monitoring and screening can save the lives of workers but it can be also damaging. The main reason behind this is the privacy rights. People who are tested get benefit and information alone. Data is only collected with consent of such employees. Privacy notions are violated when workers are forced to go through the genetic tests. Employers have no appropriate ways to use the collected data from the genetic tests of workers. Employers weed out such application where they found the potential risks sensitive to workplace. Workers who are sensitive to chemicals must not be hired because it can harm their health. Employers do not hire such person with genetic disorders because they have to pay more for their treatment and fear of insurance is too alarming as the workers end up their lives or becoming disabling.

Darwin's revolutionary theories on natural selection and the evolution of species sparked many wonderful scientific advances and led to a greater understanding of mankind's place in the natural world.

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New science has been woven into hopeful stories of the human’s future. Current scientific insights are merged with ancient wisdom which reveals about what we are and our influence on the evolution. Conventional Darwinian Theory says that evolution process takes a lot of time i.e. millions of years to manifest the evolutionary transformation in species. A long period of stasis is necessary along with interruptions to bring the evolution. An upheaval can change the way of evolution and a new form of life is developed. Darwin’s idea of modifications have become overarching and dominant because biologists can understand the origins of human beings, functioning and structure of different organs in human being and a relationship between the humans and rest of the animal kingdom. The best testament about the Darwin’s evolution theory is that it has attained the authority over the resistance from the religious authorities. Many of the greatest minds of the world in 19th century tried their best to prove the Darwin’s theory wrong.

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Darwin proposed the idea of the evolution by the process of natural selection. Everyone knew that some traits run into the families but had no idea about the mechanism of inheritance process. Darwin’s theory of Evolution has provided a way to make the tremendous advances in the field of the molecular biology during the last 50 years. Characteristics of skin, color and hair differ in humans but survival theory of existence explains the advantage factor and humans have the advantage in intelligence over the lower animals. Biological inheritance mechanism involves other exposed discrepancies. Genetic code is the way from where the communication between parent and descendent occurs.  Social solidarity is an adaptive character that is suggested by the Darwin’s theory of evolution and natural selection. Social cohesion and disciplines are encouraged, giving more opportunities to people reproduce and survive.

Unfortunately, dreadful misapplications of his brilliant concept of "survival of the fittest" also prospered

Charles Darwin established the paradigm of scientific materialism especially applied to human health and its evolution. First scientific paper on the evolution was published by John Baptiste in 1809. The concept of “survival of the fittest” was established before the birth of Darwin. However the Darwin’s work on the same concept is tremendous.  His theory of natural selection and evolution further explains the genetics.  Genetic variation occurred in early population as all the individuals do not reproduce with equal success. Some have difficulty to acquire the resources while others are eaten by the animals. Some animals of same species are more fertile as compared to others and possibility is found that traits or genes which have advantages and support them to reproduce and survive increase the population.

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Two different types of genetic variations are found including the accidental and non-directional. Unlike the evolution which occurs due to mutation, genetic drift and mutation, evolution by the process of natural selection not only changes the genetic frequencies but also the kinds of changes. These changes increase the chances of adaptation. Organisms with such traits survive better and reproduce the offspring with survival capabilities. This is all about the fitness. The phrase “survival of the fittest” was coined by a British philosopher named Herbert Spencer (1820-1903) that became later the idea of the Darwin. Darwin praised this phrase of Spencer and believed that phrase was more accurate as compared to his own concept of natural selection.

Darwin's scientific theories found less scientific and more destructive applications

When history is remembered Watson and Crick are the most famous names of biologists in 20th century; and 19th century is granted to Charles Darwin. Many wonderful and scientific advances were sparked by the evolution theory of Darwin. It provided the knowledge to understand the place of humans in this natural world.  Darwin’s theory of evolution does not explain the origin of variations which is a fundamental factor to determine natural occurrence. Secondly “survival of the fittest” would not be possible due to variations selected by nature and harming the organism’s lives. Large visible and accidental variations are ignored in the Darwin’s discussion about the evolution theory and natural selection. Darwin’s discussion is very reasonable but above given drawbacks explains its failure and proves to be more destructive applications. Due to use of destructive testing upon the animals with regard to understand the animal and humans behaviors; class, social and biological differences attributed unwanted characteristics occurred due to heredity.

This created misconception about the theory by encouraging the offspring for the fit and discouraging the reproduction by the unfit. This led to a eugenics movement that legitimized the atrocities like fueling the anti-immigrant sentiments, forcing the sterilization of mentally ill and convicted felons. Scientific advances are seldom found in vacuum always viewed through the social, legal, political and ethical prism. To protect the privacy rights of employees many states in USA passed the legislation. New York has enacted a law and declaring it the criminal act to impersonate someone over internet or any other communication media. In Illinois an act relevant to genetic information privacy was amended to ban the employment agencies, labor unions and direct employers from soliciting any resident of Illinois. Governments do not collect the genetic information of employees to suggest the criminal tendencies. Employees are not subject to be stigmatized by the wrong information. Society comes forward to protect the employees from the stigmatization of the private sectors.

Without legal protection for the genetic discrimination people are hesitant to undergo the genetic tests, beneficial for the early detection of disorders. A genetic privacy act of 1995 is one of the drafting genetic anti-discrimination and genetic privacy. This act was drafted to provide the uniformity in the different states of the USA. This law does not prohibit someone to use the genetic analysis. Genetic information is only accessible to agencies or departments which require the consistent information to diagnose the diseases to perform the essential functions in workplaces. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act 1996 (HIPAA) is the initial step to implement the recommendation for health insurance; banning the genetic discrimination in employment and health insurance.


In this paper many questions related to physical privacy are answered to focus upon the importance of privacy of employees in workplaces. Drawbacks and issues of genetic tests in workplaces are discussed here pertaining to privacy of employees. Darwin theory of evolution and natural selection are also part of this paper to prove that scientific advancement has occurred due to evolution of mankind. Main focusing point has been the issues concerning to genetic testing in workplaces. Role of society to protect the genetic discrimination among the workers has been shown along with state enacted acts. These acts protect the privacy rights of employees in different workplaces. Key examples of acts are taken from the USA.

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