As Gene Test Menu Grows, Who Gets to Choose?

This NYT article is mostly about the proliferation of prenatal gene tests and the ethical/legal isses that they bring up. When should the tests be done? Who decides? What is the role of the physician; what’s the prerogative and role of the patient? What about legal consequences for docs? What about the cost of tests?

It’s a lot of issues, but they foreshadow the kinds of issues that might arise with the similar proliferation of pharmacogenomic testing around cancer. When should more detailed gene expression data be obtained in diagnosis, prescription of drugs, monitoring of progress? The wave is coming and cancer patients and oncologists will bo on the beachfront.

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