Expert Debate: The Ethics of Consumer Genetic Testing

Expert Debate: The Ethics of Consumer Genetic Testing

Expert Debate: The Ethics of Consumer Genetic Testing
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Is consumer access to genetic testing, without a doctor's involvement, beneficial or harmful for patients? This debate examines both sides.
  • Overview

    For the first time, the FDA has approved a direct-to-consumer genetic test from 23andme that will inform patients if they are predisposed to diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer's, and Celiac Disease among others.

    Proponents applaud this decision, saying this will allow for people to know their genetic health risks and be more proactive about their health. Others argue that this information doesn’t tell the whole story since predisposition doesn't reflect someone's ultimate risk or likelihood of developing a disease. What are the benefits and liabilities of consumers' access to genetic testing?

    Host Dr. David Weisman, Director of Clinical Trials at Abington Neurological Associates, sits down with Dr. John Khoury, Associate Director at Abington Memorial Hospital Sleep Disorders Center, to debate the merits and pitfalls of direct-to-consumer genetic testing.

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