The Future of Genetic Testing for Babies
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Is it possible for parents to know too much when it comes to the future of their children's health?
The Doctors welcome Harvard professor and medical geneticist Dr. Robert Green to discuss the world’s first study of genetically sequencing newborns, which can possibly screen for more than 1800 health conditions. The hope of the study is that with the genetic information doctors can predict and prevent illness instead of waiting for them to develop.
Dr. Green explains that the testing is meant to hopefully identify things people might be at-risk for during their life. The study he is running is giving people a much more detailed look at their genetic sequencing compared to any of the commercial genetic tests available on the market. He tells The Doctors that 40 percent of new parents choose not to undergo the testing, explaining that just after welcoming their child they do not want to hear bad news regarding possible health issues. He says they also express concerns about privacy and insurance discrimination for the children when they become an adult.
He goes on to explain the goal of the study is to change medicine from being reactive to proactive where doctors are predicting, reacting and preventing illness.
Dr. Green believes that this type of information will be commonplace in medicine in possibly 5 to 10 years.
The Doctors polled our audience about whether they would test their child's genetics and our 76% of our online followers said yes and 24% said no. Where do you stand on genetic testing for newborns?