Policy and Ethics Issues
The growing availability and use of genetic testing in the clinical setting raises a number of ethical, legal and social issues and questions that healthcare providers should become familiar with. For example, how should such tests be regulated? Should "home brew" tests be regulated by the FDA just like diagnostic devices? What level of analytical validity (accuracy of the test result), clinical validity (use of the test as a diagnostic tool), or clinical utility (use of test result for treatment) should be required for tests offered to the public? What counseling should be provided for recipients of test results, and who should provide that guidance? How can the public be protected from discrimination? This section provides healthcare professionals with links to more detailed information about the ethical, legal and social challenges that accompany genetic testing.
- Policy and Ethics at NHGRI
- Ethical, Legal and Social Issues (ELSI) Research Program
- Genome Statute and Legislation Database
- Secretary's Advisory Committee on Genetics, Health, and Society (SACGHS)
SACGHS provides policy advice to the Department of Health and Human Services on the broad array of complex medical, ethical, legal, and social issues raised by the development and use of genetic technologies. Reports and correspondence including SACGHS Priorities, Coverage and Reimbursement, Education and Training of Health Professionals are available on the SACGHS Web site.
- Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS) Policy
The proposed policy calls for investigators funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for GWAS 1) to submit de-identified genetic (genotypic and phenotypic) data to a centralized NIH repository; and, 2) to submit documentation that describes how the investigators will protect privacy and confidentiality of research participants
Last Reviewed: May 2, 2012