FUTURE PERFECT: Confronting Decisions About Genetics


With the recently announced mapping of the human genome, the era of genetics is upon us. But how will this new information affect our decisions regarding genetic testing and treatment, especially if, as Andrews maintains, our ability to diagnose genetic diseases has outstripped both our ability to treat them and our related social policy? A scholar of science and law and an advisor to the National Institutes of Health, Andrews (Body Bazaar) offers a dry but insightful glimpse of the future, by examining three discrete policy models to determine which may be best suited for genetic testing. Andrews maintains that, currently, such decisions are being made by the "medical model," which stresses individual patient decisions but leaves patients too poorly informed to make good decisions. The "public health model," which is based on widespread educational campaigns or legally mandated acts such as vaccinations, is also inappropriate, because genetic diseases are not necessarily a public health problem. Moreover, mandatory screening could leave those who test positive discriminated against by employers and insurers. Instead, Andrews advocates a "fundamental rights model" that would empower the patient and ensure the high quality of health care services by requiring informed consent. Our goal now, she argues, should be to secure "an informed and knowledgeable health care provider base." The author then goes on to consider specific problems in genetic policy (e.g., the impact of negative test results, or the impact of genetic testing on minorities) under this plan. With its rather technical emphasis on how genetics will influence society and impact an individual psychologically, the book's primary audience will be policy makers, industry experts, physicians and public health officials. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 03/26/2001
Release date: 02/01/2001
Show other formats
Paperback - 288 pages - 978-0-231-12163-7
Spiral - 279 pages - 978-0-231-50248-1
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
Email Address


Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.