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Returning genetic incidental findings without patient consent violates basic rights
Date:5/17/2013

ch testing and information, even if the results could open avenues for intervention. The patient may already be battling another disease, such as advanced cancer, or be late in life and see more burden than benefit in added genetic information. The patient may also fear that 'extra' results in their medical record will invite risk of discrimination."

ACMG says that applying these recommendations to children may help adult family members understand their own health risks. However, Wolf et al. point out that "this is exactly what past recommendations have rightly rejected, in limiting genetic testing and disclosure of genetic information to what is medically necessary during childhood." The authors cite long-standing policy discouraging childhood testing for adult-onset conditions. "Delaying testing and return of genetic information not medically useful in childhood allows the child to reach adulthood and then make a choice based on his or her own values."

The ACMG indicates that their list of genes to test without consent will grow. Their report says that laboratories may look for variants in other genes, "as deemed appropriate," and that ACMG will review the roster of 57 genes annually. Wolf et al. voice concern that "As the list expands, so will the scope of testing without consent." The authors urge the importance of patients' rights, especially in an era of genome sequencing when extensive genetic information can be generated on any patient.


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Contact: Martha Coventry
coven002@umn.edu
612-625-2948
University of Minnesota
Source:Eurekalert

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