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The University of Southampton
Clinical Ethics and Law at Southampton

CELS publishes educational article on direct-to-consumer genetic testing

Published: 11 November 2019

Recently, members of CELS wrote an article about direct-to-consumer genetic testing that was published in the BMJ. The article discussed concerns that people buying direct-to-consumer tests might be falsely reassured by ‘negative’ results, and the issue that people who download and look at raw data from direct-to-consumer genetic tests might get worrying false positive results.

Anneke Lucassen did a podcast for Science Weekly discussing ‘the dangers of DIY genetic testing’, and Rachel Horton and Anneke Lucassen did a podcast for BMJ talk medicine together with Jude Hayward (Royal College of GPs joint genomics champion), about how direct-to-consumer tests can over or under-estimate disease risk.

The BMJ article was discussed in the national news, with Anneke Lucassen being quoted by the BBC News website, SkyNews, the Guardian, and the Daily MailOnline. The article was also cited in the recent position statement on direct-to-consumer genomic testing by the Royal College of GPs and the British Society for Genetic Medicine, and has been the subject of UK Cancer Genetics Group Twitter journal club.

Read a blog post about it on Rachel Horton’s research project website.

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