GENETIC TESTING MUST BE
IN BEST INTERESTS
Below is a news digest
on a policy statement published in the June issue of
Pediatrics, the peer-reviewed scientific journal of the American
For Release: Monday, June 4, 2001, 5:00
CHICAGO - Careful consideration must be given to genetic testing and screening
of children to ensure that use of this technology promotes the best
the child, according to a new policy statement published in the
June issue of
The statement, "Ethical Issues With Genetic Testing
in Pediatrics," addresses
three kinds of genetic testing and screening: newborn screening,
screening of people who may carry the genetic traits for diseases
and predictive testing for late-onset disorders.
recommends that established newborn screening tests should be
evaluated periodically to modify or eliminate ineffective components.
In addition, the AAP does not support the broad
use of carrier testing or screening
in children or adolescents.
The policy also recommends
that genetic testing for adult-onset conditions
should be deferred until adulthood, or until an adolescent
can decide for him
or herself. Where newborn screening
is concerned, the AAP recommends that
informed consent from parents
be evaluated throughresearch and the frequency
of informed refusals be carefully monitored.
The American Academy of Pediatrics is an organization of 55,000 primary care
pediatricians, pediatric medical subspecialists and pediatric surgical
dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children,
and young adults.