Bioethics News

Genetic Testing Fumbles, Revealing ‘Dark Side’ of Precision Medicine

October 31, 2016

(STAT News) – Enthusiasm for precision medicine, from the White House down to everyday physicians, is at an all-time high. But serious problems with the databases used to interpret patients’ genetic profiles can lead to “inappropriate treatment” with “devastating consequences,” researchers at the Mayo Clinic warned on Monday. Their report describes the cases of some two dozen people who were told they had a potentially fatal illness and one who had a heart defibrillator surgically implanted but, it turns out, never needed it. The individuals were family members who underwent genetic testing after a young relative died of a heart syndrome.

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