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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Increased risk of suffering harms and evils associated with the condition...

An analogous situation would be a person who has been infected by AIDS, but has not yet developed symptoms of the condition, that is they are HIV positive. People who are HIV positive are and rightly should be considered to be suffering from a malady, even though they have not developed any symptoms. This is because they are at an increased risk of suffering harms and evils associated with the condition. Another condition that should be considered to be a malady and mirrors the situation of Huntington disease closely is high blood pressure. People are routinely considered to be suffering from a malady if they have high blood pressure. This is at least in part due to the increased risks of developing other conditions, such as heart attack, which will cause them considerable suffering. It is clear that if we consider a person who is HIV positive or someone who has high blood pressure to be suffering from a malady, then a person who has the gene for Huntington disease should also be considered to have a malady: a genetic malady. This being the case, if there were genetic interventions that would stop or greatly reduce the risk of a person with the Huntington gene from developing the condition, which were safe, effective and morally permissible, then the person with the Huntington gene would have a similar call for medical assistance that those persons who are HIV positive or who have high blood pressure have in relation to their respective conditions.

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