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Books, Journals, New Media
November 14, 2001

Genetics and HealthYour Genetic Destiny: Know Your Genes, Secure Your Health, and Save Your Life

Author Affiliations
 

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorDavid H.MorseMS, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media

 

Not Available

 

by Aubrey Milunsky, 410 pp, $27.50, ISBN 0-7382-0377-7, Cambridge, Mass, Perseus Publishing, 2001.

JAMA. 2001;286(18):2330-2331. doi:10.1001/jama.286.18.2330-JBK1114-3-1

Your Genetic Destiny, by Aubrey Milunsky, MD, DSc, is an expansive and well-written book that covers an incredible range of topics, from basic genetic principles to detailed medical facts on specific diseases such as coronary artery disease and schizophrenia.

The tone is set in the introductory section, with chapters entitled "What You Should Know and Why" and "Personal Considerations and Your Family History." In this section and throughout the book, Dr Milunsky repeatedly emphasizes the benefits of knowing your family history and how the "new" genetics can offer additional information that everyone should want to know. He writes, "[K]nowledge of your family history could prompt a genetic analysis that might enable you to not only save your own life but also the lives of those dear to you." Throughout he repeatedly emphasizes the need to know one's family history and to push one's physician for genetic testing when appropriate to maximize health. Milunsky addresses the potential drawbacks and limitations of genetic testing not in these chapters but rather in the final section, "Personal Matters, Predictive Tests, Genetic Counseling, and Treatment." In that section, "Genes, Ethics, Law, and Public Policy," is perhaps the most complete and detailed part of the book, with concise but informative discussions on informed consent, confidentiality, and DNA testing of children.

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