Ethical issues in genetics
Article first published online: 27 SEP 2011
© 2011 The Author. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health © 2011 Paediatrics and Child Health Division (Royal Australasian College of Physicians)
Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health
Volume 47, Issue 9, pages 668–671, September 2011
How to Cite
Wilcken, B. (2011), Ethical issues in genetics. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 47: 668–671. doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1754.2011.02168.x
- Issue published online: 27 SEP 2011
- Article first published online: 27 SEP 2011
- Accepted for publication 8 February 2011.
Genetic disorders are caused by abnormalities in genes and chromosomes and for the most part have implications for family members, affecting such matters as confidentiality and disclosure to third parties. Genetic testing can be not only diagnostic but also predictive, raising issues of the need for pre-test counselling, protection of children from unwanted testing, and most importantly, the imprecision of interpretation of future risk. The rise in availability of direct-to-consumer testing is a fresh cause for concern, as are the new possibilities in reproductive medicine. New technologies and the falling cost of whole genome sequencing ensure that ethics will be a prominent concern for clinical genetics.