Over the past decade, genetic tests have become available for a wide variety of disorders. As a result we are able to predict, with some degree of certainty, whether or not an individual will develop such diseases as breast cancer, Huntington's disease, polycystic kidney disease, and familial adenomatous polyposis. The ability to predict disease poses several unique ethical considerations for clinical decisionmaking regarding the provision of genetic testing. Patients must be able to comprehend the complexities of genetic testing and the potential meaning of the results. Patients must consider the emotional, social, and economic consequences of revelations regarding their risk status. Also, obtaining information on risk status may have implications for persons other than the individual seeking genetic testing.
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