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Is "direct-to-consumer" genetic testing smart provided that it is not supported by the intervention of a certified medical practitioner or genetic counselor?
Can a genetically screened family member give information to children or other family members about dangerous genetic information (such as carrier status) and when?
Could such tests be used, for example, as a criterion for the adoption or implantation of an IVF embryo?
Consumers or individuals are entitled to information about something that affects them, whether or not a government body allows it. Access to genetic knowledge by the public could prove to be quite welcoming, as it can form the foundation for serious decisions. Individuals are made aware of their genetic identity and any future concerns especially from diseases that occur genetically (Pollack, 2015). Therefore with this kind of awareness, they can seek professional consultation from trained medics or genetic councilors. On the other hand, it would be imprudent to provide this sort of information as it may be prone to misinterpretation from consumers. It would be miserable to have such information without knowing the way forward. It would only be wise if such details were elaborately and professionally provided.
A family member who has undergone through genetically testing should provide such information to other family members and children for cautionary purposes. The children could be carriers and healthy but when they mate their children are likely to inherit two abnormal genes. However, parents should only provide this information to children at the right time. This information is just relevant when offered to young adults as they plan to start families.
Genetic testing is an excellent method for tracing paternal roots by those who are adopted. Biological family members who have participated in adoption can be determined readily using DNA. Many family reunions have been facilitated through this procedure as they can trace their paternal roots and ancestral lineages. IVF embryo implantation has enabled the assessment of embryos to determine their genetic condition or abnormality of their chromosome. This technique has allowed maximization of healthy births as abnormal embryos can be detected and avoided in the mating process. The method has also enabled couples to conceive after suffering infertility for extended periods due to genetically instigated conditions in the families.
Young E. (2015) retrieved on 10 October, 2017 from. Clinical Genetics Has a Big Problem That's Affecting People's Lives. Unreliable research can lead families to make health decisions they might regret. https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2015/12/why-human-genetics-research-is-full-of-costly-mistakes/420693/
Pollack A. (2015).F.D.A. Reverses Course on 23andMe DNA Test in Move to Ease Restrictions. Retrieved on 10 October, 2017 from https://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/20/business/fda-eases-access-to-dna-tests-of-rare-disorders.html?_r=0
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