Raising hopes for disease treatment and prevention, but also the specter of discrimination and "designer genes," genetic testing is potentially one of the most socially explosive developments of our time. This book presents a current assessment of this rapidly evolving field, offering principles for actions and research and recommendations on key issues in genetic testing and screening.
Advantages of early genetic knowledge are balanced with issues associated with such knowledge: availability of treatment, privacy and discrimination, personal decisionmaking, public health objectives, cost, and more. Among the important issues covered:
- Quality control in genetic testing.
- Appropriate roles for public agencies, private health practitioners, and laboratories.
- Value-neutral education and counseling for persons considering testing.
- Use of test results in insurance, employment, and other settings.