An Examination of the Ethical and Legal Limits in Implementing "Traceback Testing" for Deceased Patients

J Law Med Ethics. 2022;50(4):818-832. doi: 10.1017/jme.2023.23.


This paper examines the legal and ethical aspects of traceback testing, a process in which patients who have been previously diagnosed with ovarian cancer are identified and offered genetic testing so that their family members can be informed of their genetic risk and can also choose to undergo testing. Specifically, this analysis examines the ethical and legal limits in implementing traceback testing in cases when the patient is deceased and can no longer consent to genetic testing.

Keywords: BRCA1/BRCA2; Cancer Syndromes; Cascade Screening; Hereditary Breast and Ovarian Cancer; Return of Results; Traceback Testing.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Family*
  • Genetic Testing*
  • Humans
  • Patients