Genetic Testing Must Be
In Best Interest of Children
Source: http://www.aap.org/advocacy/releases/junegenetic.htmBelow is a news digest on a policy statement published in the June issue of Pediatrics,the peer-reviewed scientific journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
For Release: Monday, June 4, 2001, 5:00 p.m. (ET)
CHICAGO - Careful consideration must be given to genetic testing and screening of children to ensure that use of this technology promotes the best interest of the child, according to a new policy statement published in the June issue of Pediatrics.
The statement, "Ethical Issues With Genetic Testing in Pediatrics," addresses three kinds of genetic testing and screening: newborn screening, testing and screening of people who may carry the genetic traits for diseases (carrier screening), and predictive testing for late-onset disorders.
The AAP recommends that established newborn screening tests should be reviewed and 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 through research 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 specialists
dedicated to the health, safety and well-being of infants, children, adolescents
and young adults.