Tag: genetic testing

Bioethics News

House Republicans Would Let Employers Deman Workers’ Genetic Test Results

A little-noticed bill moving through Congress would allow companies to require employees to undergo genetic testing or risk paying a penalty of thousands of dollars, and would let employers see that genetic and other health information

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics Blogs

Genetic counselors, genetic interpreters, and conflicting interests

By Katie Stoll, Amanda Mackison, Megan Allyse, and Marsha Michie The booming genetic testing industry has created many new job opportunities for genetic counselors. Within commercial laboratories, genetic counselors work in sales and marketing, variant interpretation, as “medical science liaisons” … Continue reading

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics News

After Heavy Lobbying from All Sides, MPs to Debate, Vote on Genetic Testing Bill

March 8, 2017

(CTV News) – After a flurry of intense lobbying from insurance companies, health charities, a handful of provinces and the justice minister herself, the fate of a controversial genetic testing bill is now in the hands of Parliament. Liberal MP Rob Oliphant has been shepherding the proposed Genetic Non-Discrimination Act, also known as Bill S-201, through the House of Commons, where it is back up for debate and could come to a final vote Wednesday.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics News

It’s Easy Money: Lab Offers Doctors Up to $144,000 a Year to Push Dubious Genetic Tests, Employees Say

March 2, 2017

(STAT News) – Proove has grown rapidly by tapping into the public angst over surging opioid addiction. It is one of many companies touting personalized DNA-based tests backed by little or no credible scientific data showing their reliability. That’s because a regulatory loophole has left huge swaths of the multibillion-dollar genetic testing industry largely free of government oversight. A STAT investigation found that Proove employees stationed in physicians’ offices pushed unnecessary tests on patients — a practice called “coercion” by one former manager — and they sometimes completed research evaluation forms on behalf of doctors, rating the tests as highly effective when they weren’t. In fact, Proove tests of DNA captured by swabbing inside a patient’s cheek were so unreliable that many physicians disregarded the results. There was scant evidence, said the company’s former chief scientist, that the tests improved patient outcomes.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics News

‘Swab As Many People As Possible’

Genetic lab pays doctors to push dubious tests, employees say. Proove has grown rapidly by tapping into the public angst over surging opioid addiction. It is one of many companies touting personalized DNA-based tests backed by little or no credible scientific data showing their reliability. That’s because a regulatory loophole has left huge swaths of the genetic testing industry largely free of government oversight

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics News

DNA Deceit? Genetic Testing and Its Legitimacy

February 9, 2017

(WLTX19) – It’s not unusual to want to learn more about yourself and after a few clicks online, you could be drowning in information. There are dozens of genetic tests offering the latest and greatest ways to answering your questions. You send them some saliva or a swab from your cheek and from that, they’ll analyze your D.N.A., but sometimes the results you get back aren’t definitive. Richard Moody works at WLTX. He’s adopted and said he doesn’t have a desire to learn about his birth parents, but is interested in learning more about himself.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics News

The Formation of the Global Bioethics Initiative Featured in IMPAKTER

In this series of global leaders, we will highlight an international non-profit healthcare organization that provides a bridge between patient care and the complexities of medicine. This area of healthcare is often referred to as Bioethics and in 2011, Dr. Ana Lita and Dr. Charles Debrovner co-founded Global Bioethics Initiative (GBI). This organization offers an all-inclusive resource that allow young and established healthcare professionals a place to learn about essential information about the ethical dilemmas in medicine. GBI is unique in their approach in that they make Bioethics approachable and tangible to everyone. This first installment of this series will layout the reasons behind making bioethics global, the reasons for forming GBI, and their educational programs.

WHY GLOBAL BIOETHICS?

People are beginning to appreciate more deeply the bonds between human well-being and the unrelenting pace of medical and technological advances. The progress made in life sciences, medicine and biotechnology in recent years has provided us with exciting and novel ways of treating, preventing, and curing human diseases. Some (relatively) recent notable and controversial developments in medical science and biotechnology include: markets in organs and transplantation therapy, the accessibility of biotechnological developments in reproductive healthcare, genetic testing and gene therapy, the End-of-Life, the “right to die” and palliative care, as well as life extension, healthy aging and regenerative medicine. While the positive impact of these advances on individuals and societies must be applauded, the ethical consequences of such developments necessitate our attention. The increasing power that new biotechnologies offer us requires that we consider not only whether something can be done, but whether it should it be done.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics News

The Formation of The Global Bioethics Initiative: As Featured in IMPAKTER

In this series of global leaders, we will highlight an international non-profit healthcare organization that provides a bridge between patient care and the complexities of medicine. This area of healthcare is often referred to as Bioethics and in 2011, Dr. Ana Lita and Dr. Charles Debrovner co-founded Global Bioethics Initiative (GBI). This organization offers an all-inclusive resource that allow young and established healthcare professionals a place to learn about essential information about the ethical dilemmas in medicine. GBI is unique in their approach in that they make Bioethics approachable and tangible to everyone. This first installment of this series will layout the reasons behind making bioethics global, the reasons for forming GBI, and their educational programs.

WHY GLOBAL BIOETHICS?

People are beginning to appreciate more deeply the bonds between human well-being and the unrelenting pace of medical and technological advances. The progress made in life sciences, medicine and biotechnology in recent years has provided us with exciting and novel ways of treating, preventing, and curing human diseases. Some (relatively) recent notable and controversial developments in medical science and biotechnology include: markets in organs and transplantation therapy, the accessibility of biotechnological developments in reproductive healthcare, genetic testing and gene therapy, the End-of-Life, the “right to die” and palliative care, as well as life extension, healthy aging and regenerative medicine. While the positive impact of these advances on individuals and societies must be applauded, the ethical consequences of such developments necessitate our attention. The increasing power that new biotechnologies offer us requires that we consider not only whether something can be done, but whether it should it be done.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics News

Many High-Risk Patients with Breast Cancer Aren’t Getting Genetic Testing. Here’s Why.

February 7, 2017

(The Washington Post) – Doctors often fail to recommend genetic testing for breast-cancer patients, even those who are at high risk for mutations linked to ovarian and other cancers, according to a study published Tuesday. Researchers said the findings, which appear online in the Journal of the American Medical Association, are troubling because genetic tests can help guide women’s choice of treatments for existing disease, as well as point to ways to reduce the risk of future cancer. Women who have a dangerous mutation might choose to have more stringent screening or opt to have surgery before a cancer develops, they said.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.

Bioethics Blogs

Modern Pregnancies and (Im)Perfect Babies

by Stephanie A. Kraft, JD

The modern experience of pregnancy is distinctly “not your mother’s pregnancy”. Ever-expanding options for carrier, prenatal, and newborn screening offer today’s pregnant women countless choices when it comes to genetic testing—choices that were unheard of, even unfathomable, just a generation ago.

Prenatal screening and diagnosis have long challenged the tension between individual reproductive autonomy and society-wide respect for persons with disabilities. New genetic and genomic technologies have the potential to either heighten or relieve this tension, depending (in part) on how they are implemented. Shakespeare argues that the advent of prenatal whole genome sequencing can remind us that “everyone is potentially disabled” due to one genetic mutation or another, but at the same time he cautions that the widespread use of this technology may lead parents to focus on individual genetic imperfections rather than accepting their children as the “flawed, vulnerable, limited and mortal” people that they are. “No baby is perfect,” he writes as a reminder to the modern pregnant woman who might be considering how to navigate her prenatal genomic options.

As a modern pregnant woman myself, I read Chen and Wasserman’s target article with both academic and personal interest. Chen and Wasserman propose an unrestricted framework, bolstered by a robust informed consent process, for the eventual clinical implementation of noninvasive prenatal whole genome sequencing (NIPW). They argue that by not limiting testing by severity of conditions, their approach will neither devalue the lives of individuals with disabilities nor encroach on reproductive autonomy. Some commentators applaud their framework’s potential to minimize biases against people who have subjectively “bad” genetic conditions.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.