Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Letter Re "Genes Now Tell Doctors Secrets They Can’t Utter," Times

As described by Ms. Kolata, genetic researchers are often confronted with non-trivial ethical dilemmas, including what to do when actionable genetic data becomes known to researchers who may or may not have the permission or the wherewithal to contact the relevant parties. This particular concern, however, may soon become less weighty. With many already sharing their most intimate and banal feelings through social media outlets, and personal genomics companies churning out further genomic fodder for us to share, the idea that genetic information ought not be disclosed may eventually fall away, perhaps sooner than we expect, and before we are prepared. Whether the potential benefit of this increased availability of information will outweigh the potential loss of medical privacy remains to be seen.

Dov Greenbaum and Mark Gerstein

Genes Now Tell Doctors Secrets They Can’t Utter
Published: August 25, 2012