Call me old-fashioned, but voluntarily submitting your children’s DNA for inclusion in a database seems foolhardy to me. Just how secure is that database? Is Gattica really so far in the future once this becomes the norm? From BBC News:
Parents believe the benefits of testing their children for the genetic risk of some diseases outweigh the negative consequences, according to US scientists.
In the study, published in the journal Pediatrics, parents who were offered a genetic test supported their children also being tested.
The authors say doctors and politicians need to be more aware of the issue. Genewatch UK said children should never be tested for adult conditions.
Genetic testing used to be confined to specialist clinics, but direct-to-consumer testing is now possible. People send a sample to a company in the post and are told if they have any genes which carry an increased risk of illness.
In this study, 219 parents were tested for 15 genetic variants linked to heart disease, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes and colon, skin and lung cancer.
They were then asked a series of questions to compare benefits such as reassurance, knowledge and prevention, with risks such as invasion of privacy and psychological discomfort.
The report found that “parents offered the genetic susceptibility test for common preventable conditions tended to consider that the potential benefits of this test for their own child could outweigh its risks”…
[continues at BBC News]