Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics



SPECIAL SECTION: OPEN FORUM

Genetic Testing of Children for Late Onset Disease


MARY ANN  SEVICK  a1 , DONNA G.  NATIVIO  a2 and TERRANCE  MCCONNELL  a3
a1 Mary Ann Sevick, Sc.D., R.N., is Associate Professor in the Department of Health and Community Systems, School of Nursing, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
a2 Donna G. Nativio, Ph.D., R.N., FAAN, is Associate Professor and Director of Nurse Practitioner Programs at the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing, Department of Health Promotion and Development, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
a3 Terrance McConnell, Ph.D., is Professor in the Department of Philosophy, University of North Carolina at Greensboro, North Carolina

Article author query
sevick ma   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
nativio dg   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 
mcconnell t   [PubMed][Google Scholar] 

Over the past decade, genetic tests have become available for a wide variety of disorders. As a result we are able to predict, with some degree of certainty, whether or not an individual will develop such diseases as breast cancer, Huntington's disease, polycystic kidney disease, and familial adenomatous polyposis. The ability to predict disease poses several unique ethical considerations for clinical decisionmaking regarding the provision of genetic testing. Patients must be able to comprehend the complexities of genetic testing and the potential meaning of the results. Patients must consider the emotional, social, and economic consequences of revelations regarding their risk status. Also, obtaining information on risk status may have implications for persons other than the individual seeking genetic testing.



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