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|Title: ||Childhood genetic testing for familial cancer: should adoption make a difference?|
|Authors: ||Newson, A.J.|
Leonard, S. J.
|Issue Date: ||2010|
|Citation: ||Newson, A.J. & Leonard, S.J. (2010) “Childhood genetic testing for familial cancer: should adoption make a difference?” Familial Cancer, 9(10): 37-42.|
|Abstract: ||Professional guidelines and practice in clinical genetics generally counsel against predictive genetic
testing in childhood. A genetic test should not be performed in a child who is too young to choose it
for himself unless that test is diagnostic, will lead to an intervention to prevent illness, or enable
screening. It is therefore generally considered unacceptable to test young children for adult-onset
cancer syndromes. However, these guidelines are challenged when clinical genetics services receive
requests from adoption agencies or pre-adoptive parents for predictive genetic tests in children
being placed for adoption. Testing will foreclose a pre-adoptive child’s future autonomous right to
choose, yet those commissioning these tests argue that adoption should form a special case. In this
paper, we argue that predictive genetic testing as part of a pre-adoptive ‘work-up’ should be
discouraged when the same test would not generally be carried out in a child who is not being
adopted. We present an argument based on a principle of consistency and question those claims
that privilege the adoptive process, whilst acknowledging the array of uncertainties faced by preadoptive parents. We suggest that if pre-adoptive testing is considered, this should only take place
after prospective adoptive parents have had the opportunity to meet the clinical genetics team and
fully understand the implications of the testing process.
Adoption, Autonomy, Best interests, Cancer, Children, Genetic testing, Parent–child relations|
|Type of Work: ||Article|
|Type of Publication: ||Post-print|
|Appears in Collections:||Research Papers and Publications. Sydney Health Ethics|
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