Science versus values in personal genomics for children

| November 8, 2012 |
When it comes to what a child should know I tend to disagree with the consensus among genetic counselors. It seems that the implication from the current guidelines is that children shouldn’t be tested for adult onset disease until they can give consent. I can’t go along with this. I would caution, and probably try to dissuade, any friend who wanted their son circumcised as an infant. It’s a body part you can’t get back. But at the end of the day I believe that this is something parents should be allowed to decide without fiat outside interference (I am in favor of dropping insurance coverage for the practice, but not in favor of banning it). If so, then I certainly think that testing of children should be allowed, with at minimum a neutral take from the counseling industry.

When it comes to what a child should know I tend to disagree with the consensus among genetic counselors. It seems that the implication from the current guidelines is that children shouldn’t be tested for adult onset disease until they can give consent. I can’t go along with this. I would caution, and probably try to dissuade, any friend who wanted their son circumcised as an infant. It’s a body part you can’t get back. But at the end of the day I believe that this is something parents should be allowed to decide without fiat outside interference (I am in favor of dropping insurance coverage for the practice, but not in favor of banning it). If so, then I certainly think that testing of children should be allowed, with at minimum a neutral take from the counseling industry.

The rights of minors are sharply demarcated, and society tends to give a great deal of latitude to parents in terms of what they can do to their children.The point it is that society achieves certain understandings of the boundaries of parental control, and enforces those boundaries with force. This isn’t a science. You can disagree with the social consensus, but no matter what, it will impact you.

View the original article here: It takes a village, and guidelines