DNA tests at center of growing crisis

Feb 25, 2008

The growing costs of U.S. healthcare and health insurance have led to a drop in the number of people getting precautionary DNA tests, a report said Sunday.

The New York Times said U.S. citizens are becoming increasing loathe to take part in such genetic examinations, which could potentially forecast health problems, because of the economic consequences.

Dr. Francis S. Collins of the National Human Genome Research Institute said citizens are afraid to engage in DNA testing due to worries their results could negatively influence their employers or health insurance carriers.

"It's pretty clear that the public is afraid of taking advantage of genetic testing," Collins said. "If that continues, the future of medicine that we would all like to see happen stands the chance of being dead on arrival."

The growing problem has led some healthcare officials to call for legislation protecting those undergoing DNA tests from facing potential discrimination, the Times said. The aim of such legislation would be to allow citizens to learn of any potential health threats beforehand with little to no worry of economic repercussions.

Copyright 2008 by United Press International

Explore further: Transgender people pass on health care to avoid social stigma

Related Stories

How smart are the mobile shoppers who use smartphones?

18 minutes ago

In the age of the smart phone, how smart are the mobile shoppers who use these almost ubiquitous devices? A study from South Korea published in the International Journal of Mobile Communications hopes to answer that questi ...

Big data keeping track of bushfires

8 minutes ago

More than 5000 bushfires occurred in WA between July 2013 and July 2014, making the development of the Aurora Bushfire Detection System a big deal for local communities.

Recommended for you

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.