Genetic testing discussed by NPR

The National Public Radio site has an article posted online by Sarah Handel. The story includes also a link to audio of the broadcast. The story starts:

Our bodies are full of untold secrets about our futures. Turns out, predispositions for various diseases are plain as the nose on your face... If only someone takes a look at your DNA. OK, that's simplifying things, but there are now a variety of tests you can take to see if, say, a family history of breast cancer means you'll get it too. Or if you're going to pass cystic fibrosis on to your kids. Have you gotten tested? Do you want to? How much do you want to know about your medical future? What if one day, there's a test that will tell you how long you'll live (barring accidental death, of course)? Would you want to know? Is there a difference between knowing for yourself, and knowing about what genetic markers you could saddle your kids with?

You may find the stories and comments attached to the article very interesting and informative. For example,

How do you suggest stopping insurance companies from not insuring a person or dropping them if they're tested? They regularly drop people for pre-existing conditions. If you aren't tested, you at least have plausible deniablity. I just don't think it's worth the chance. Tested when you're born for Alzheimers by your parents and denied insurance at 21? Or have your entire family insurance cancelled while you're still a baby because you test positive? This is happening now - it's not a "what if". I would track family members with conditions within the family.

Check it out if you're interested in genetic testing and its implications.

Marie Godfrey, PhD


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