Technical report: ethical and policy issues in genetic testing and screening of children.
ABSTRACT The genetic testing and genetic screening of children are commonplace. Decisions about whether to offer genetic testing and screening should be driven by the best interest of the child. The growing literature on the psychosocial and clinical effects of such testing and screening can help inform best practices. This technical report provides ethical justification and empirical data in support of the proposed policy recommendations regarding such practices in a myriad of settings.Genet Med 2013:15(3):234-245.
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ABSTRACT: International carrier testing guidelines discourage testing in childhood to preserve autonomous decision making and prevent detrimental psychosocial consequences. Despite the discouragement of autosomal recessive carrier testing during childhood, some sickle cell disease (SCD) or cystic fibrosis (CF) carriers are incidentally identified through UK and international newborn screening (NBS). This creates a scenario where parents may have knowledge of their newborn's, but not older child's carrier status. In addition, there is wide variation in the identification of CF and SCD carriers due to the screening technologies implemented by different NBS programs. The current and future availability of childhood testing are determined to some extent by the impact of testing on children and parents (whether this is beneficial or detrimental to wellbeing). However empirical research informing carrier guidance and practice is conflicting. Echoing previous calls, this discussion highlights the need for further qualitative and longitudinal research with children to consider the psychosocial impact of carrier testing on children and role of disclosure from parents on adaptation to results. It is recommended that professionals aim to minimize harms resulting from carrier identification by providing support for parents and children following NBS. Support for non-genetics specialists from genetic counselors to enable discussion of carrier results with children is suggested.Journal of Genetic Counseling 07/2014; 23(5). DOI:10.1007/s10897-014-9740-5 · 1.75 Impact Factor
- The American Journal of Bioethics 03/2014; 14(3):24-6. DOI:10.1080/15265161.2013.879959 · 2.45 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and American College of Medical Genetics (ACMG) recently provided two recommendations about predictive genetic testing of children. The Clinical Sequencing Exploratory Research Consortium's Pediatrics Working Group compared these recommendations, focusing on operational and ethical issues specific to decision making for children. Content analysis of the statements addresses two issues: (1) how these recommendations characterize and analyze locus of decision making, as well as the risks and benefits of testing, and (2) whether the guidelines conflict or come to different but compatible conclusions because they consider different testing scenarios. These statements differ in ethically significant ways. AAP/ACMG analyzes risks and benefits using best interests of the child and recommends that, absent ameliorative interventions available during childhood, clinicians should generally decline to order testing. Parents authorize focused tests. ACMG analyzes risks and benefits using the interests of the child and other family members and recommends that sequencing results be examined for additional variants that can lead to ameliorative interventions, regardless of age, which laboratories should report to clinicians who should contextualize the results. Parents must accept additional analysis. The ethical arguments in these statements appear to be in tension with each other.The American Journal of Bioethics 03/2014; 14(3):3-9. DOI:10.1080/15265161.2013.879945 · 2.45 Impact Factor