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|Title: ||Cascade testing in Familial Hypercholesterolaemia: how should family members be contacted?|
|Authors: ||Newson, A.J.|
|Issue Date: ||2005|
|Publisher: ||Nature Publishing Group|
|Citation: ||Newson, A.J. and Humphries S.E. (2005) “Cascade testing in Familial Hypercholesterolaemia: how should family members be contacted?” European Journal of Human Genetics, 13(4): 401-408.|
|Abstract: ||Cascade testing or screening provides an important mechanism for identifying people at risk of a genetic condition. For some autosomal dominant conditions, such as Familial Hpercholesterolaemia (FH), identifying relatives allows for significant health-affecting interventions to be administered, which can extend a person’s life expectancy significantly. However, cascade screening is not without ethical implications. In this paper, we examine one ethically contentious aspect of cascade screening programmes, namely the alternative methods by which relatives of a proband can be contacted. Should the proband be responsible for contacting his or her family members, or should the screening programme contact family members directly? We argue that direct contact is an ethically justifiable method of contact tracing in cascade screening for FH. Not only has this method of contact already been utilised without adverse effects, an examination of the ethical arguments against it shows these are unsubstantiated. We describe several criteria which, if met, will allow an appropriate balance to be struck between maximising the efficiency of family tracing and respecting the interests of probands and their relatives.
Cascade genetic screening; cascade testing; confidentiality; autonomy; genetics; ethics; guidelines; familial hypercholesterolaemia|
|Type of Work: ||Article|
|Type of Publication: ||Post-print|
|Appears in Collections:||Research Papers and Publications. Sydney Health Ethics|
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