Testing everyone for everything: The problems with genetic screening


The following is an edited excerpt.

New techniques of DNA sequencing make it possible to test a single sample to determine carrier status for dozens of genetic conditions at prices that make carrier screening panels (CSPs) very tempting to healthcare providers and patients.

So why object to CSPs? After all, don’t people have a right to “know their DNA” and to understand what health and reproductive risks they face?

Carrier screening does not consistently lead to better treatments,  encourage greater tolerance of disabilities,  stimulate research into cures, or improve psychosocial adaptation to genetic disease. The only compelling reason to devote economic and medical resources to carrier screening is to reduce disease incidence. For better or worse, that is the measure of success of Tay-Sachs screening in Ashkenazi Jews and thalassemia screening on Cyprus.

View the original article here: Screening Everyone For Everything: A Changing Model of Screening For Carrier Status of Genetic Diseases?