The Holistic Genome

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Archive for the ‘genetic privacy’ Category

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trustWho do you trust with your genetic information?

  • Do you trust sending it via email or instant message?
  • Would you post it on the internet, like some have?
  • Would you trust Google with it?
  • What about companies like 23andme or Navigenics?
  • What about your spouse?
  • What about your Doctor?

Genetic testing information has grown tremendously. But how do we incorporate it securely into clinical practice so that it is portable and fluid?

Towards the practice of personalized medicine, we will need to have ready access to an individual’s genetic information to drive the clinical decision making process.

A Survey of 1,199 Americans by the Genetics and Public Policy Center suggest that patients trust their physicians most with their personal genetic information and their employers and insurer the least. Incidentally, while patients who were surveyed trusted their spouses ‘a lot’ more, they chose their physicians more often.

Congress, has passed the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), which prohibits health insurers and employers from asking or requiring a person to take a genetic test or from using genetic information to set insurance rates or making employment decisions. This is the first step.

But how secure is your genetic data and whom should you trust with it?  What is the next step?


Written by Jonathan Holt, DO

November 16, 2008 at 1:02 pm