Genetic testing is a relatively new and rapidly emerging field; yet, public health has been involved in public policies and practices involving genetic testing for conditions. Genetic testing is often an integral part of human genetic research, for which we also set out the ethical considerations.
The demand for genetic information in the healthcare and health-related sectors of many scientifically advanced countries has been rising steadily and has in turn fueled the application of genetic testing for a diverse range of diseases.
We at Genetic Research Centre ensure that genetic testing is conducted with due consideration and protection of the individual’s interests and rights.
The use of genetic testing and genetic information can have social and economic implications. Direct Supply of Genetic Tests to the Public. The commercialization of genetic testing kits and services direct to the public increases access to genetic tests. This situation is causing concern. This concern is mainly focused on the twin problems of potential misinformation and risk of testing without consent. We share this concern and recommend steps, as far as practicable, to ensure that genetic testing is done free of cost, and we limit to the availability of the research based tests so that we can provide predictive health information directly to the public. Keeping in Ethical Considerations in Human Genetic Research.
In both clinical and research settings, the health, welfare and safety of individuals undergoing genetic testing is of paramount consideration. When genetic testing is conducted primarily for a clinical purpose, research considerations is not compromised or prejudiced for this purpose.
We propose that all laboratories conducting clinical genetic tests should be accredited by a body designated by the relevant authority, based on standards it considers appropriate. This is necessary to safeguard a high quality of genetic information derived from tests, which is in turn fundamental in safeguarding the welfare of tested individuals.
At Genetic Research Centre (GRC) one can avail three forms of genetic testing: Diagnostic , Carrier, and Predictive testing.
Genetic counselling is also conducted in a non-directive manner and to provide sufficient information and appropriate support to the individual and his or her family members.
Genetic testing is the analysis of human DNA, RNA, genes and/or chromosomes, or the analysis of human proteins or certain metabolites, with the primary purpose of detecting a heritable genotype, mutation, phenotype or karyotype. Genetic testing can be for research or for clinical purposes.
Research genetic testing is done when the primary aim is to generate new information or test a research hypothesis. There are over 800 laboratory-based genetic tests already available for clinical use. Clinical genetic testing subsumes the following: (a) Confirmatory diagnosis for specific genetic disorders; (b) Carrier testing for recessive disorders.
Prenatal genetic diagnosis (PNGD) to identify a specific genetic disorder in a foetus; (i) Predictive testing of asymptomatic individuals; and (ii) Genetic screening of healthy individuals.
The welfare of tested individuals depends on the integrity of the diagnostic process and the test methodology. These aspects are carefully monitored, keeping in mind the increasing tendency for direct approaches to be made by clients to laboratories, or for tests to be available directly to the public, bypassing the Government Genetic Centers, as in internet-based services.