Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Genetic Testing and Our Children

How do you feel about genetic testing?

In a national poll conducted by C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital , researchers found 54% of parents are willing to have their children undergo genetic testing even if a disease is found which currently has no available treatment. The study also found almost 40% of parents are willing to store their children’s DNA in a government “biobank” for the purposes of research.

Personally I am a beneficiary of genetic testing and endorse it wholeheartedly. Through genetic testing, we discovered a disease runs in our family. Several family members, both those who are affected and those who are not, are now a part of a large study researching the mechanism of the disease and how it is passed down from generation to generation. I am the kind of person who just has to know things, so I was tested. While I do not have the disease, I was fully prepared to deal with it if I did. I feel if I know things ahead of time, such as if I will probably be the victim of a debilitating disease, I can better prepare for my future not to mention the future of my family.

What do you think? Would you have your child tested? What do you feel about a national biobank? Let’s start a discussion.


Abby and Sheri said...

I am all for genetic testing. I am in medical marketing, so I support breakthroughs in science -- as controversial as they may be. On the other hand, as a self-employed person, genetic testing scares me. My insurance company would drop me in a nanosecond if testing found something. Double-edged sword.

Jennifer Brown said...

Love this thought-provoking blog! Never have considered this question before, but I have to say...I don't think I would. While I'd love to have that done for myself, I can't say I'd want to know that my kids might have something incurable. Nor can I say I would want for them to know it and always be waiting for the shoe to drop. On the other hand, I can appreciate the benefits of this, as you can be used for research for possible cures, etc. But still...I guess I'm a big chicken and I know I'm a huge believer in ignorance being bliss.