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December 7, 2011

Next-Generation DNA Sequencing, Regulation, and the Limits of Paternalism: The Next Challenge

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Genetics and Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

JAMA. 2011;306(21):2376-2377. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.1788

With the advent of next-generation sequencing technologies, the ability to quickly and relatively inexpensively learn the sequence of an individual's entire genome will soon be available to medical practitioners, patients, and consumers. Whole-genome and whole-exome sequencing will routinely uncover both trivial and important medical results, both welcome and unwelcome. This upheaval in sequencing technology presents new challenges to implementation and regulation, forcing physicians to consider what genomics has to offer patients, clinicians, and consumers, ultimately prompting a consideration of the role of paternalism in medicine.