A mother with a new set of female twins learns of a genetic test that can be done to determine if the children are carriers of the gene for breast cancer. She submits the sample to the company, receives the results in 2 weeks, and learns that one twin is at risk while the other is not. The mother takes this information to the infants’ pediatrician and asks for further testing on the child with the increased susceptibility and wants to know if preventative treatment can begin now. The mother also enters this information as patient-generated data which has created several red flags in the electronic record’s decision support system. The clinical staff are concerned since the patient with the risk for breast cancer is only weeks old. Answer the following questions regarding this case:
- How would you handle this situation from an ethical perspective?
- How will the mother having this knowledge about the infants affect the way they will be treated developmentally, medically, socially, and economically?
- Should there be restrictions on the age of individuals receiving genetic testing through companies of questionable reputation?