alexa Where there's a web, there's a way: commercial genetic testing and the Internet.
Social & Political Sciences

Social & Political Sciences

Arts and Social Sciences Journal

Author(s): WilliamsJones B

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Abstract The Internet has become a "global marketplace", enabling consumers to purchase health care products and services, including genetic testing, through a variety of national and international sources. A web search for commercial (for-profit) genetic testing companies found 12 with a web presence that were offering adult genetic susceptibility testing, of which 3 offered direct-to-consumer access. In this paper, Canada--with its educated population and universal health care system--will serve as a case study for illustrating the social, ethical and policy issues (e.g., information privacy, just access to health care, product safety, and access to unbiased health information) arising with Internet-based access to commercial genetic testing. Health professionals, policy makers and consumers in all developed nations will be faced with complex technical, social and ethical issues, but without further discussion it will not be possible to determine how best to manage and maximise the benefits of this increased accessibility and choice, while minimising the associated personal and social costs. Copyright 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel This article was published in Community Genet and referenced in Arts and Social Sciences Journal

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