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What Should the Law Say About Disclosure of Genetic Information to Relatives?

dc.contributor.authorClayton, Ellen Wright
dc.identifier.citation1 Journal of Health Care Law & Policy 373 (1998)en_US
dc.descriptionarticle published in journal of health care lawen_US
dc.description.abstractWhen a person is diagnosed with a genetic disease or characteristic, his or her relatives are more likely than others in the general population to be similarly affected. This fact raises a host of questions. What should these relatives be told about the chance that they, too, inherited a particular mutation? If they should be told, who should tell them? What weight should be given to protecting patient confi­ dentiality? The increasing availability of interventions that can ameliorate or even eliminate the symptoms of genetic disorders makes these questions more pressing. In this paper, I will assume, as an ethi­ cal matter, that patients should generally tell their relatives about the chance that they, too, inherited a treatable genetic disorder. I will assume, also, that there may be instances in which clinicians are permitted by ethical norms to warn patients' relatives about the chance that they inherited a treatable disorder even over the patients' express objections. I will argue, however, that using the law of negligence to enforce such proposed obligations would represent an unwarranted expansion of legal duty and would entail great costs to the delivery of health care.en_US
dc.format.extent1 PDF (20 pages)en_US
dc.publisherJournal of Health Care Law and Policyen_US
dc.titleWhat Should the Law Say About Disclosure of Genetic Information to Relatives?en_US

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