- Ethics and Genetics: The Ethics of DTC Genetic Testing 2h 15min
Ethics and Genetics: The Ethics of DTC Genetic Testing
What a time to be alive! In the past decade, there has been an explosion of the direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic testing market. Companies like 23andMe, AncestryDNA, Gene by Gene, and Illumina are amassing significant popularity and awareness to the everyday person! What was once thousands of dollars and out of reach for the majority of people is now on average $100 or less. Available at big-box retail stores, as well as online, these genetic tests are just a cheek swab or test tube of spit away from a plethora of information about YOU!
While the information is certainly exciting and the health reports can be empowering, what about those unexpected findings that raise your eyebrows and your ethical dilemma flag? The ethical considerations range from surprise half-siblings, unexpected disease carrier information, finding criminals, compromised confidentiality, and many others. This course will examine the ethics of these popular direct-to-consumer genetic tests with the goal of helping you build an ethical framework around them.
- Define direct-to-consumer genetic testing
- Identify the pros and cons of direct-to-consumer genetic testing
- Identify ethical arguments both for and against direct-to-consumer genetic testing
- Develop ways to help patients navigate both anticipated and unexpected results
- Understand how direct-to-consumer genetic tests are regulated
- Understand when to implement the ethical principle of duty-to-warn
Beth Cleavenger (PharmD) is a 2012 University of Montana Pharmacy School graduate. She was born and raised in Montana and moved to Arizona in the summer of 2012 to start her pharmacy career. It was this move that would change her life, her health, and the direction of her career forever. In pharmacy school Beth was taught to believe the lie that alternatives to conventional medicine were simply unnecessary and unreliable. She was led to believe that the only medicine and treatments patients could trust were rooted in clinical guidelines and FDA approved drugs. Ironically, after battling a “mysterious” chronic illness for four years it was naturopathic medicine that had saved her life.
Beth was halfway through pharmacy school when her health began to dramatically decline and she wholeheartedly embraced the medical wisdom she thought she had gained. Over the course of three years she went to 7 physicians and 3 specialists only to be dismissed as “normal”. Beth was hopeless, desperate, and on the verge of needing a medical leave of absence from her job. Realizing that she had nothing else to lose, Beth made an appointment to see a naturopathic physician.
At just 27 years old, Beth was battling a severe case of chronic fatigue syndrome, stage III adrenal fatigue, hormone imbalances, and a number of food intolerances. Little by little she has regained her health back with the help of natural supplements, a real-food diet, and even the anti-viral drug, valacyclovir, for her high Epstein-Barr viral load.
This journey has taught Beth more than the value and effectiveness of natural and alternative medicine. It has made her not only a more compassionate pharmacist, but a better one. This experience drives Beth to educate patients, colleagues, and friends on the benefit of integrating both natural and conventional medicine to improve quality of life.