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Would you submit your child's genetic information (DNA) to a personal genomic service to get insights into your child's health propensity?

23andme.com is able to genotype your DNA by 'running' the DNA sample you provide against one million genetic variances; this seems to be sufficient to cover most variant across the entire genome, therefore making their analysis quite accurate and reliable. If you were presented with the opportunity to know with a high degree of certainty about future problems that may affect yours, or your child's health, would you take it? why or why not?

Seeking Opinion Digital Future , Health & Wellbeing 4 years ago
Francesco admin
Francesco
Founder @ Quib.ly
London, GB

1 parent has answered

Michael Schmid
Michael Schmid Founder adaddyblog.com Dallas, US

Great question, Francesco. The answer lies in part with how the results will be used by the person submitting their DNA whether for themselves or their child, especially if the results contain potentially "bad news".

I know someone who recently had 23andme run her DNA. Largely it was an exercise in curiosity, even entertainment of a sort. She found some of the things it told her quite interesting. She now knows how much Neanderthal there is in her DNA, and where her ancestors were from. She also knows some health information she'd not had before.

One's genetics, while potentially predisposing one to certain conditions, are not a death sentence. Knowing of an increased risk for a particular health concern could have a good or bad effect. If it gives the person motivation to reduce other related risk factors (or their child's), then it's a good thing. If it pushes them into a pit of helpless worry or stigmatizes their child, then maybe it's not so good?

One last point, while 23andme's says they will secure your data, I personally would be very concerned about that information getting into the hands of entities, e.g. insurance companies, who hypothetically could deny coverage due to ones increased risk for certain medical conditions. How big is the risk this info could get out and be misused? Maybe not much, but it gives me pause.

I'd love to hear other peoples thoughts on having this sort of DNA testing done.

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Opinion 4 years ago

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