What is a genetic test, and why does it matter?

Endeavour. 1999;23(4):159-61. doi: 10.1016/s0160-9327(99)80038-6.


How the term 'genetic test' is defined, matters for social policy. The past few years have witnessed many efforts to enact legal barriers specifically against genetic discrimination. To the extent that information derived from genetic tests receives special protection, both enthusiasts for genetic medicine and those who stress its perils have an incentive to adopt a broad interpretation of genetic testing. However, the consequences have not always been those anticipated.

MeSH terms

  • Confidentiality
  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn / diagnosis
  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn / genetics*
  • Genetic Predisposition to Disease
  • Genetic Testing*
  • Human Genome Project
  • Humans
  • Insurance Carriers
  • Legislation as Topic
  • Neonatal Screening
  • Phenylketonurias / diagnosis
  • Phenylketonurias / genetics
  • Prejudice
  • Public Policy