Genetic counseling and medical ethics in the age of personal genomics

| November 8, 2012 |
On October 25th, Time Magazine ran an article about genetic testing of children with the provocative title, “What Your Doctor Isn’t Telling You About Your DNA.” The piece begins by describing a dilemma in the cytogenomics lab at Children’ s Hospital of Philadelphia: a mutation for early-onset dementia is picked up through what the article describes as ‘genome analysis’ (it was microarray, actually) of a sick baby. The doctors at CHOP, absent any notion of the family’s preferences, decide that it is not in their best interest to have this information forced upon them – a choice that has drawn the ire of a number of prominent voices in the blogosphere. “Nice to know that two physicians in Philadelphia not only have medical degrees, but specialize in mind-reading”, says Razib Khan in a post for Discover Magazine. Bam! That noise you hear is the sound of a thousand genetic counselors smacking their foreheads in unison. Really? Why are they struggling with this after the fact? Where was the pre-test counseling?

On October 25th, Time Magazine ran an article about genetic testing of children with the provocative title, “What Your Doctor Isn’t Telling You About Your DNA.”  The piece begins by describing a dilemma in the cytogenomics lab at Children’ s Hospital of Philadelphia: a mutation for early-onset dementia is picked up through what the article describes as ‘genome analysis’ (it was microarray, actually) of a sick baby.  The doctors at CHOP, absent any notion of the family’s  preferences, decide that it is not in their best interest to have this information forced upon them – a choice that has drawn the ire of a number of prominent voices in the blogosphere.  “Nice to know that two physicians in Philadelphia not only have medical degrees, but specialize in mind-reading”, says Razib Khan in a post for Discover Magazine.

Bam!  That noise you hear is the sound of a thousand genetic counselors smacking their foreheads in unison. Really?  Why are they struggling with this after the fact?  Where was the pre-test counseling?

View the original article here: Time Magazine is Raising Questions about Genetic Testing for Minors– Do Genetic Counselors Have Any Answers to Give Them?