The individuals we serve may be facing a time where disabilities are seen as a disease and people with potential for that disease should not be born. How does this outlook impact the way human service professionals must do their jobs? We encourage people to self-advocate, self-determine, and lead a “normal” life; however, we must also understand the difficulties our clients face initiating these actions when groups in our society view individuals with mental retardation as expendable. Recent advances by the Human Genome Project hold great potential for all of humankind. However, this project has also spawned some in society to revisit the familiar concept of: eugenics. These two views must not be examined separately. In addition, professionals in the human services field cannot ignore the potential impact of these issues.

Begun in 1990, the Human Genome Project was originally a 13-year effort coordinated...

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