HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Akron Univ. School of Law

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Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Personal Genetic Testing

The Diane Rehm show has an interesting discussing planned for 11am EST concerning personal genetic testing.  The brief overview states,

A growing number of people are turning to personalized genetic testing to learn about possible predisposition to some diseases, inherited behavioral traits, and clues to their family heritage. We'll talk about what these tests can tell us and some of the new questions they raise.

Guests

Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute

Beth Peshkin, senior genetics counselor, Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, Georgetown University Medical Center

Linda Avey, co-founder, 23andMe, a personalized genetic testing company

Earlier this morning, Morning Edition had an interesting discussion with Ms.Jessica Queller about her book. Pretty Is What Changes: Impossible Choices, The Breast Cancer Gene, and How I Defied My Destiny,"  Here is a brief summary of the book:

Eleven months after her mother succumbs to cancer, Jessica Queller has herself tested for the BRCA “breast cancer” gene mutation. The results come back positive, putting her at a terrifyingly elevated risk of developing breast cancer before the age of fifty and ovarian cancer in her lifetime. Thirty-four, unattached, and yearning for marriage and a family of her own, Queller faces an agonizing choice: a lifetime of vigilant screenings and a commitment to fight the disease when caught, or its radical alternative—a prophylactic double mastectomy that would effectively restore life to her, even as it would challenge her most closely held beliefs about body image, identity, and sexuality. . . .    Without flinching, Jessica Queller answers a question we may one day face for ourselves: If genes can map our fates and their dark knowledge is offered to us, will we willingly trade innocence for the information that could save our lives?

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