The Pros And Cons Of Genetic Testing

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Are genetic tests worth it?

Genetic testing is the basis of a large amount of medical research and advances we see in the media currently. Genetics is a very current matter and is at the forefront of modern biology advancement, especially genetic tests and their ability to discover inherited traits and link genetic disorders. The wide range of possibilities of genetic testing results in constant media attention, some leading to controversy. Genetic testing brings large amounts of information to light about a patient’s condition, but with this information may come difficult decisions for the patient or their family. These decisions may be based on small amounts of information with low certainty levels (Lea, Williams and Donahue, 2005).

Genetic testing comes with some limitations. Identifying two possible parents as carriers for cystic fibrosis allows for prenatal testing to determine if the mutation has been inherited by the foetus. Couples who find that their foetus has the mutated gene cannot make the decision to continue or terminate the pregnancy based on the severity of the disease, as this information can’t be determined by the prenatal test. Genetic screening tests can cause false-positive and false-negative outcomes. In these instances, patients may give birth to a baby with a genetic disorder although they were previously given a negative screening result. False-positive results may lead to unnecessary, invasive testing or abortion. This can happen when testing for
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