Case analysis : Ethical issues in predictive genetic testing of minors for adult-onset hereditary conditions
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Introduction: Predictive genetic testing for adult-onset conditions in children is an issue that has initiated ethical discussions and polarized views. Case Presentation: A genetic counselor is contacted by a mother requesting predictive genetic testing of her young son for Hereditary Nonpolyposis Colorectal Cancer (HNPCC) due to an extensive family history of the condition. The ethics team subsequently worked to balance professional guidelines and ethical considerations to evaluate whether to comply with the parental request. It was necessary to consider the importance preserving the child's future right to exercise his autonomy in participating in such testing, preserving the confidentiality of the test result, and considering the possibility of potential psychological harm. Conclusion: Determining whether to perform predictive genetic testing in a minor for conditions of adult-onset should be guided by the potential outcomes that indicate that medical benefits obtained will outweigh the risks of testing.
L Wahidi, L Brandt, J Sherman, M Sherman, Case Analysis: Ethical Issues in Predictive Genetic Testing of Minors for Adult-Onset Hereditary Conditions. Journal of Academic Hospital Medicine 2015, Volume 7, Issue 2