Study finds positive public attitudes about genetic testing for newborns

03/26/2012

A new Canadian study, published in the Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic and Neonatal Nursing, supports the expansion of newborn screening (NBS) panels -- prompted by advances in genomic understanding and medical technology. The findings show public support for testing of disorders for which no treatments exist and also highlight parents' desire for informed consent before testing is undertaken. Of the 648 parents and nonparents surveyed, 69% believed that newborn genetic screening should be available for any condition as it could help parents with future reproductive decisions. More than half disagreed with the notion that newborn genetic testing should be available only for treatable health conditions, and 91% believed that parents should have access to their child's genetic information to allow them to prepare for any special needs for the child. Nearly all respondents believed that parental consent should be given before any genetic testing of a newborn is conducted. Read the abstract.

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http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1552-6909.2012.01341.x/abstract

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