The ethical challenges of direct-to-consumer genetic testing

Journal of Business Ethics 77 (1):17 - 31 (2008)
Abstract
Genetic testing is currently subject to little oversight, despite the significant ethical issues involved. Repeated recommendations for increased regulation of the genetic testing market have led to little progress in the policy arena. A 2005 Internet search identified 13 websites offering health-related genetic testing for direct purchase by the consumer. Further examination of these sites showed that overall, biotech companies are not providing enough information for consumers to make well-informed decisions; they are not consistently offering genetic counseling services; and some sites even offer tests with little evidence of clinical value. This article aims to raise company and consumer awareness about the ethical concerns surrounding the direct-to-consumer marketing of health-related genetic tests. It also suggests ways that biotech companies can bring their services to the public in an ethically responsible manner, without increased regulatory oversight.
Keywords direct-to-consumer marketing  direct-to-consumer sales  DNA test  genetic test  Internet  marketing ethics
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Geoffrey Poitras (2009). Business Ethics, Medical Ethics and Economic Medicalization. International Journal of Business Governance and Ethics 4 (4):372-389.
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