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April 12, 1995

Genetic Testing for Children and Adolescents

Author Affiliations

Wallingford, Pa

JAMA. 1995;273(14):1089-1090. doi:10.1001/jama.1995.03520380025020

To the Editor.  —The article by Dr Wertz and colleagues1 on genetic testing observes correctly that genetic testing of minors presents issues of privacy and disclosure. It is noted, in a similar vein, that minors who request testing should be informed prior to testing that third-party entities, including employers, insurers, and schools, may be able to "coerce" their consent for access to test results by withholding employment, insurance, or school admission.It is probably true that various third parties may be quite interested in access to genetic testing results, whether they involve children, adolescents, or adults. Insurers, for example, may be interested in knowing the results of genetic tests that have been done by others, for cause, on persons applying for insurance.2 If access to such data are obtained, however, the affected individual may be severely disadvantaged. There have been instances of persons with phenylketonuria being denied health

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