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Value of Data and the Corporate Rapacity

And Subversion of Family Values at the Disbursal of Individual Reign

Originally Published by Data Driven Investor on Medium


Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

Human subspecies are tied in with many personae- some unique, some universal, and the majority shared across other species. Among the most significant of all are self-preservation and wanting to pass along genes down the line of family heritage. Even so, within the crowd of those shared attributes, "the person" is determined to take the selfish instinct one step ahead, and if unable to procreate, to assume the responsibility of caring for children unrelated through the sequence of lineage, through adoption. For the past hundreds of years, human beings have found alternate ways to meet inner traction to parent while struggling to support that biological and psychological contentment comes with that commitment. Still, successful achieving, that human nature does not throttle itself to the reward of parentage.

Human beings are inquisitive to learn about their past and ancestral lineage. In most cases, those with the prerequisite of biological birth and known family trees are too mindful. Still, under the circumstances, including sperm donor-ship and adoption, rudimentary details can trigger instinctual curiosity for progenies to seek their biological parents.

Generally speaking, adopting a parent's aspiration is to be looked upon as genuine parental at one hand, children's instinctive curiosity in search of blood relation, namelessness of the sperm donor-ship, and the receiving parents are all the impeccable cause for conflict of interest. For decades, laws and ethical standards were in place to assure all parties of their individual rights. But- with the emerging technologies, change in millennial mindset, and new corporate business strategies, the task of upholding traditional yet legal and ethical standards is becoming crushingly thought-provoking. Although the millennial conceptual defiance is merely aligned headed for revealing the identity of the sperm donor, particularly among the families of same-sex marriage, but still- the risks of sharing such information have the potential to reach beyond divulging biologic paternity. Conversely- a significant portion of non-biological parents desires to be perceived as the sole parent by way of hoping to cling to the anonymity of the other half of the child's genetic makeup. As mentioned previously, unless real solutions are realized, the era of paternal anonymity will be coming to an end.

Between the Sperm banks being forced to break rules of a confidentiality agreement with their donors, the growing Genetic Testing Market, along with lucrative corporate financial gain, the upkeep of donor confidentiality and offspring identity is fated to become a grim task.

What is Artificial Insemination?

Artificial insemination is the technical term for intentional female impregnation using a 3rd party (anonymous) donor sperm. As a famous routine offered today to sub-fertile women worldwide, the concept of artificial insemination was originated with the intent to increase gamete or sperm density at the site of fertilization, aiming to maximize embryo formation. The latter procedure is also commonly performed by Veterinarians to pick out and refine breeds of animals for a particular objective. However, due to its ethical implications, similar practices on humans are strictly prohibited; yet, limited to the reproduction, and restricted phenotype selectivity, including donor ethnicity, intelligence, and health. The complete application of Artificial insemination, beyond male infertility, low sperm, same-sex marriages, or sub-factors, including low sperm cell count, is the subject of significant ethical, religious, societal polemics. After a century of human mindset phylogeny, is more accessible today for a matrimonial pair to undergo In-vitro fertilization using a husband or life partner's sperm. Nonetheless, such a mindset is remote from enough liberation of ideas and values to accept bearing 3rd party donor sperm. Thence as pointing out in this article, the notion of artificial insemination invariably refers to donor sperm.

The unofficial history of the first attempts to artificially inseminate a woman goes back to Henry IV (1425–1474), King of Castile, who had the nickname "the Impotent." In 1455, he married Princess Juana, sister of Afonso V of Portugal, and after six years of marriage, she gave birth to a daughter, Joanna. In 1953 the American innovator Dr. Jerome K. Sherman attempted to freeze the donor sperm with a simple method of preserving it in glycerol suspension. He accomplished preserving spermatozoon by combining the suspension with a slow cooling mechanism in solid carbon dioxide as the refrigerant. Expected; Dr. Sherman's discovery led to the sperm bank industry amplification gained popularity by the 1970s, thus leading to its full commercialization within the United States before expanding across the world.

Introduction of In-Vitro Fertilization

The introduction of in-vitro fertilization (IVF) in 1978 by Steptoe and Edwards renewed the interest in artificial fertilization. In the early years, the process was subdivided as injecting an unprepared ejaculate of the husband into the wife's uterus without any particular formulation. Nevertheless, the procedure had drawbacks resulting in uterine cramps and the increased chance of Fallopian tube infection.

With the arrival of modern IVF, safe seminal fluid preparation, and nidation techniques, artificial insemination regained its popularity and became safer and painless. Despite overwhelming progress with fertility treatment techniques, the moral implications of artificial insemination have perpetually been the theme of debates. One significant contestation goes back to 1909, when the Catholic Church demurred all forms of artificial insemination. They based it on meritoriousness that such practices promote masturbation and ignorance of the religious significance of coition. But the major literary criticism was from the fact that artificial insemination was at the time considered the act of adultery. Other critics targeted the fertility practice by believing it would encourage the sinful acts of genetic and ethnic cleansing.

What is Female Ovum Donation?

The first-ever baby born from conferrer egg was reportedly in Australia in 1983. Around the same time, a clinic in Southern California reported a successful pregnancy using donor ovum. That led to the birth of the first American child born by artificial methods on February 3, 1984.

The Concept of Cloning or Pluripotent Stem Cell Induction

With its overwhelming controversy, human cloning is the conception of a genetically identical copy or clone of the human. The term is generally used for artificial human cloning, which is the procreation of human cells and tissues. Two standard researched methods of therapeutic cloning are somatic-cell nuclear transfer and pluripotent stem cell induction. With the cloning of a sheep, the Dolly, in 1996 using somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), the thought of human cloning became the topic of scalding argument and universal outlaw within the norms of modern societies.

Today besides their individual storms, artificial insemination, surrogate ovum hosts, and human cloning share fundamental ethical proceeds; data privacy.

Genetic Testing or Profiling

Genetic testing is used in the medical sphere to key out changes in chromosomes, genes, and proteins involved in genetic conditions or diseases. By identifying the genetic makeup, physicians can specify a person's probability of developing or passing on a genetic disorder to the next generation. More than 1,000 genetic tests are now in use and are being developed to a greater extent.

Genetic testing is also able to define, match and profile populations based on their genetic composition. That includes matching blood relatives against a profile of disorders. Through sophisticated deep learning software programs that need a large amount of genetic data to process, profiling the analysis of DNA from samples of body tissues or fluids is conveniently performed when conducted to predict susceptibility to a specific disease. Now, High costs and insufficient technology are the two major limiting factors to expatiate genetic data profiling into the medical arena. To take on these considerable challenges amount of patient data is required to be collected and analyzed. Researchers are compelled to utilize sophisticated machine learning technologies as the means of overcoming those barriers.

Sharing of the Genetic Data and Deep Learning

To enforce an effective machine learning technology, one requires an overly massive amount of data collected from the respective sources (in this case, genetic information, sperm and egg donor data). Thus, the pool of immoderately vast information, also called Big data, is analyzed using mathematical artificial intelligence algorithms showing patterns, trends, and associations relating to the proteins, DNA, genes, and chromosomes. Machine learning (ML), deep learning (DL), and artificial intelligence (AI) are used to create and analyze networks capable of learning unsupervised or supervised large sizes of unstructured or unlabeled data.

The Import of Putting Pieces of Artificial Fertilization, Genetic Profiling and Deep Learning Puzzles to the Concert

As highlighted initially- AI, big data, artificial insemination, donor eggs, SCNT, and genetic profiling all carry their particular individual pros and cons concerning the science, technology, and cultural as well as ethical applications. Nonetheless, when collectively applied, their impact on the constancy of social norms is exponentially deleterious. We're simply entering a space where the upkeep of anonymity, respecting individual privacy and preventing major social, psychological, ethical, and legal disputes will be a strenuous undertaking. To explain further- I would like to apply the exemplar with the question — "what if an individual reluctantly discovers that the person he or she is married to is, in fact, near bloodline-related sibling?!"

Lookup for Biological parents is ordinary, even when adopting parents has played the best role models. Even those who relish the prerogative of living through the typical family fostering are frequently curious to incur out more about their genetic heritage and family line of descent using modern genetic testing tools like 23 & me and ancestry. Next is the big data industriousness, which flourishes on strategizing its mission towards profiting from such valuable commodities.

Together with- as far as they can use the average person's inherent oddment to arrive at trillions of dollars, indeed, it will represent their ultimate finish. To meet that mission, industries must partake in selective information between themselves through their patronage requirements. Of course, besides controversy over the data possession and un-consented use of personal data by the entities, the Ethical quandary is destined to potentially disrupt barriers that ultimately ensure the anonymity of the type of entropy, if exposed, can sustain deleterious consequences.

One could barely conceive of the potential imports of retroactively finding out that person's genetic progeny is also their intimate partners or somebody unwillingly finding out that they are carriers of a rare disease through-line of inherited descent. Or their insurance policy premiums are sky-rocketed for no apparent cause through genetic test data collected from their distant folks. Further consequences: including knowing they won't live past a certain age or are genetically related to a psychopath.

Based on claims made, one may contend that everyone has the liberty of knowing where they come from and where they are destined. As for the same notion, I must reason- befall trustworthy people hold the right to be aware and bear the right not to be acquainted with if they elect so! Incisively speaking- knowingness must be a personal choice and not a mandatory requirement, or beware of the action mechanism by others. Under current circumstances, privacy is beyond the acceptable threshold. By virtuousness of necessity, entities desperately crave our personal data. Despite overwhelming promises to assure concealment of the personal identifying information, such pledges are neither enough to protect privacy nor relevant. The modern, sophisticated deep learning instruments offer abundant power to make the need to access personal credentials obsolete.

Sperm banks, too, are suffering the consequences of their unethical and illegal actions of yesteryear. For example, by contract bridge, donors who had consented to no more than ten progeny per donation have latterly found out through genetic examination that some Cryo-banks vended their specimen to over twenty full-term pregnancies. That opened the door for new Legal implications.

The most bothersome is Dehumanization of Humanity

To be a person requires societal skills and power to learn, adapt, respect, and respond to every single instance and scenario independently. So, the indiscriminate application of applied science and tools without the human sense of touch is utterly degrading for the values we live by. At times, disclosing selected information, including fatherhood, is not what a soul expects. Every administration must protect the privacy of its individual constituents. On the contrary, governments are taking the unconventional course of action by giving entities the leeway to violate the citizen's confidentiality.

Upholding information privacy has misleadingly been conveyed as a difficult task. However, Safeguarding personal data parallels the advancement of science and technology thus is as easy as willing to install. Let's expends on this by considering the scenario where we launch a decentralized system using blockchain technology. All data are shared through the dispersed structure, which allocates its ownership among the original contributors of the data, hence allotting liability. The data is solely accessible to 3rd party users upon let of the original owners of the information. But- is that what governments want?!

The evidence says differently!

A recent report from the National Institute of Health (NIH) suggests that the agency's primary focus on genetic sequencing and expanding upon the genomics database is to also flourish the availability of information to other organizations and agencies with little or nil do with precision medicine. Or, the controversial Food and drug administration's (FDA) effort towards Feeding the Big-Data-Driven Stem Cell Science has become a recent case of Ethical and Legal Predicament

The liberty of decentralization pertains to returning valuable data to every individual. It is about the facilitation of data sharing with the entities as a choice. Respecting personal privacy for the interest of the person and to avoid modern era conflicts is achievable. Still, it is not necessarily in the interest of the big corporations to give away the profiteering opportunities that come with a centralized system.

Decentralization of data is the ultimate way to protect ethical and legal execution of concurrent genetic testing and Sperm banking operations. Decentralization is not the preferred choice for corporations because they would lose the convenience of full access to patient profiles at virtually no cost. Still, it will give back data to individual owners, provide an incentive to patients to stay healthy, increase competition, Lower monopoly, and reduce cost while paving the ground for healthcare beyond borders of poverty, politics, and social unfairness. Most of all will make science and technology worthwhile for those pursuing healthy families of their own without outside sway, within the walls of their privacy utilizing fortifying family values.

#Data #bigdata #familyvalue

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