Genetic Testing - Issue Scan

A lesson plan covering the ethical issues associated with genetic testing and evidence-based argument


There are many social, legal and ethical considerations surrounding genetic testing. This lesson plan covers a range of issues relating to the use of DNA information in healthcare. It introduces students to the principles of bioethics, which form a transferable framework for examining social, economic and cultural contexts and ethical uses of biotechnology. The activity also models the use of reasoned judgement to write evidence-based justifications and evaluations.

A full teacher guide is available for this activity. It includes answer sheets for the worksheets. Teachers can email from a school email address to gain access.

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Syllabus Connections

This task directly addresses the “ethical understanding” and “personal and social capability” general capabilities emphasised in syllabus. It also aligns with the following outcomes:

Inheritance patterns in a population

  • investigate the use of technologies to determine inheritance patterns in a population using, for example:
    • DNA sequencing and profiling

Genetic Technologies

  • evaluate the benefits of using genetic technologies in agricultural, medical and industrial applications  
  • interpret a range of secondary sources to assess the influence of social, economic and cultural contexts on a range of biotechnologies    

Analysing Data and Information


Assumed Knowledge

-Medical applications of DNA sequencing

Further Reading

We have complied some links for student reading into ethical issues relating to genomics and genetic technologies in our Student Resource Guide