chapter  12
11 Pages

Legal regulation of genetic testing: Balancing privacy and family interests

Genetic information is widely regarded as a particularly sensitive form of

personal information. The presence of a genetic mutation within a family is

significant for family members as well as the individual. Those affected may

suffer anxiety, fear, depression, guilt, ‘‘the stress of being the bearer of bad

news in the family [and] disruption to family relationships.’’1 Genetic

information may influence life and health insurance, employment, loans,

marriageability, reproductive choices, adoption, and entitlement to govern-

ment services and law enforcement. Genetic information may inadvertently reveal details that were not sought or anticipated, such as non-paternity or

consanguinity. It is conceivable that information may be disclosed to the

police or the media.