Document Detail

Legal and ethical issues in genetic testing and counseling for susceptibility to breast, ovarian and colon cancer.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  8634959     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The prediction of susceptibility to heritable breast, ovarian and colon cancer raises important legal and ethical concerns. Health care professionals have a duty to disclose sufficient information to enable patients to make informed decisions. They must also safeguard the confidentiality of patient data. These duties may come into conflict if a positive finding in one patient implies that family members are also at risk. A legal distinction is made between a breach of confidentiality and the legitimate sharing of information in a patient's interest or to prevent harm to a third party. Physicians also have a fiduciary duty to warn. Other issues concern the legal liability assumed by genetic counsellors, whose disclosures may influence decisions about childbearing, for example, and the risk of socioeconomic discrimination faced by people with a known genetic susceptibility. Traditional ethical orientations and principals may be applied to these and other questions, but feminist ethics will likely have particular importance in the development of an ethical stance toward testing and counseling for heritable breast and ovarian cancer.
B M Dickens; N Pei; K M Taylor
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  CMAJ : Canadian Medical Association journal = journal de l'Association medicale canadienne     Volume:  154     ISSN:  0820-3946     ISO Abbreviation:  CMAJ     Publication Date:  1996 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1996-07-10     Completed Date:  1996-07-10     Revised Date:  2009-11-19    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9711805     Medline TA:  CMAJ     Country:  CANADA    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  813-8     Citation Subset:  AIM; E; IM    
Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, Ontario.
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MeSH Terms
Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
Colonic Neoplasms / genetics*
Decision Making
Ethics, Medical*
Genetic Counseling / legislation & jurisprudence*
Genetic Predisposition to Disease
Genetic Research
Genetic Testing / legislation & jurisprudence*
Infant, Newborn
Informed Consent
Liability, Legal
Ovarian Neoplasms / genetics*
Personal Autonomy
Prenatal Diagnosis
Resource Allocation
Risk Assessment*
Socioeconomic Factors
Women's Health

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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