April 13, 2024

Discussing death with children should not be taboo

The UK lobby group GeneWatch claims that companies are preparing to market gene tests for a “susceptibility” to a disease and that this could frighten people into taking unnecessary medication. “Most claims that genes increase a person’s risk of common conditions, such as heart disease, depression or obesity, later turn out to be wrong,” says GeneWatch deputy director Dr Helen Wallace. “Unregulated genetic testing would mean that we could all be frightened into taking medicines for illness that we are never going to get.” The UK does not require companies which market tests to confirm the link between a gene and a disease.