Swabbing Students: Should Universities Be Allowed to Facilitate Educational DNA Testing?

American Journal of Bioethics 12 (4):32-40 (2012)
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Recognizing the profound need for greater patient and provider familiarity with personalized genomic medicine, many university instructors are including personalized genotyping as part of their curricula. During seminars and lectures students run polymerase chain reactions on their own DNA or evaluate their experiences using direct-to-consumer genetic testing services subsidized by the university. By testing for genes that may influence behavioral or health-related traits, however, such as alcohol tolerance and cancer susceptibility, certain universities have stirred debate on the ethical concerns raised by educational genotyping. Considering the potential for psychosocial harm and medically relevant outcomes, how far should university-facilitated DNA testing be permitted to go? The analysis here distinguishes among these learning initiatives and critiques their approaches to the ethical concerns raised by educational genotyping



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