Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Health & Pregnancy

Font Size

Genetic Testing: Ethical, Legal, and Religious Issues - Topic Overview

The decision to have genetic tests may involve consideration of ethical, legal, and religious issues.

  • The discovery of a genetic disease may have legal implications. But the discovery of a genetic disease that is not causing symptoms now (such as breast cancer or Huntington's disease) should not affect your future ability to gain employment or health insurance coverage. A law in the United States, called the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008 (GINA), protects people who have DNA differences that may affect their health. This law does not cover life insurance, disability insurance, or long-term care insurance.
  • Genetic tests may detect a serious disease in a fetus that will greatly impact its life after birth and impact the lives of caregivers. A pregnant woman who is considering genetic tests may want to consider her ethical, social, and religious beliefs to help her determine the actions she would take if test results are positive.
  • A genetic test result is sensitive information. Your confidentiality should be maintained and the release of information should be limited to those who are authorized to receive it.

If you are thinking about having genetic tests, be sure that you clearly understand the implications of all possible test results before you make your decision about testing. Genetic counseling can help you explore the implications of possible test results.

1

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 03, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
Next Article:

Genetic Testing: Ethical, Legal, and Religious Issues Topics

Pregnancy Week-By-Week Newsletter

Delivered right to your inbox, get pictures and facts on
what to expect each week of your pregnancy.

Today on WebMD

Woman smiling as she reads pregnancy test
Slideshow
pregnant woman with salad
Quiz
 
pregnant in thought
Article
babyapp
NEW
 

slideshow fetal development
Slideshow
pregnancy first trimester warning signs
Article
 
What Causes Bipolar
Video
Woman trying on dress in store
Slideshow
 

pregnant woman
Article
Close up on eyes of baby breastfeeding
Video
 
healthtool pregnancy calendar
Tool
eddleman prepare your body pregnancy
Video