Pub. date: 2004 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952576 | Print ISBN: 9780761923602 | Online ISBN: 9781412952576| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Genetic Testing: Ethical, Legal, and Social Aspects
Andrea Farkas Patenaude
Genetic advances raise questions of enormous importance to individuals and societies. Genes define our individual identity, while simultaneously linking us to family, ethnic group, and species. Genetic testing results that identify inherited predisposition for disease can define a state between illness and wellness. In some cases, identification as the carrier of a disease-predisposing mutation has implications for prognosis and for targeted prevention, early diagnosis, and possibly even treatment recommendations. In other cases, information about mutation status may have few immediate ramifications beyond the psychological impact of the knowledge itself. Utilization of the end products of genetic research is dependent on what people understand about genetic testing, on social and individual attitudes toward genetics, and on the emotional state and life experiences of the potential users. The ultimate success of recent genetic advances including the cloning of the human genome is dependent on an informed public's awareness of the potential benefits ...