Beyond consent: ethical and social issues in genetic testing

Nat Rev Genet. 2001 Feb;2(2):147-51. doi: 10.1038/35052579.


Informed consent is a vital ethical doctrine in clinical medicine and, through genetic counselling, is being applied to genetic testing. But genetic testing raises issues that transcend the traditional concept of informed consent. Genetic tests are adopted without demonstrable clinical benefit, and the consequences of testing can reach beyond the individual to their families and communities. Understanding the social and cultural context of genetic testing will lead to more informed discussion and debate on these issues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ethics, Medical*
  • Genetic Testing*
  • Humans
  • Informed Consent*