The recent Op-Ed regarding genetic testing is right - to some degree. The main concerns however, are more nuanced than just false positives or negatives. Rather, it's that the average consumer, and often even the average physician, are not able to effectively deal with the deluge of the genetic data provided by the testing services: most of us lack the statistical proficiency to grasp the varied risks assessed to the patient, or an appreciation of the highly personal and revealing nature of genetic information. With the growing importance of genetics in our lives, efforts should be directed at introducing these concepts to undergraduates --the future patients and their doctors, in a safe and controlled environment, as we have seen in some initial forays in this direction at Berkeley and Stanford.
Dov Greenbaum JD PhD
Mark Gerstein PhD
Unpublished Letter to the Editor
The promise and peril of home genetic test kits
April 29, 2011
OpED, LA TIMES