Ethical Issues in Genetic Testing
Since the discovery of the human genome project in 2003, there have been questions regarding ethical concerns of privacy, genetic data, reporting of incidental findings and many more ethical issues. Since genetic testing is typically preceded by counseling to discuss its advantages and disadvantages with individuals so they can make informed decisions, ethical issues of autonomy must be addressed. The techniques of whole genome or exome sequencing, which are being more commonly used, can identify many gene mutations, including substantial numbers of mutations with unknown pathological effect. I will discuss the ethical challenges of several approaches to individual privacy versus the interests of families as well as some of the new advances in genetic testing. I will discuss the advances in this technology and some of the protective policies in place in the US and the possible implications in the global society.