DTC genetic testing companies need nudge to help patients understand results

The 23andMe controversy illustrates a stalemate over the role of direct-to-consumer genetic testing in American health care.

On one side are those like geneticist Robert Green and law professor Nita Farahany, who recently argued in the science journal Nature that people should be trusted to make responsible use of their own genetic information.

Then there are those like bioethicist George Annas and physician Sherman Elias who argued in the New England Journal of Medicine that the FDA ban did no more than “requir[e] that companies that want to sell their health-related medical devices to the public demonstrate…that the tests do what the company claims they do.”

Each position — nonintervention and prohibition — has much to commend it. Yet neither captures the diverse outcomes of genetic testing.

Read the full, original story: Genetic Testing Needs a Nudge

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