As genetic testing for the presence of potentially health-affecting mutations becomes available for more genetic conditions, many people will soon be faced with the decision of whether or not to have a genetic test. Making an informed decision requires an understanding and evaluation of the arguments for and against having the test. As a case in point, this paper considers argumentation involving the decision of whether to have a BRCA gene test, one of the first commercially available genetic tests. First, argumentation in a five-page patient brochure from a for-profit company that provides BRCA gene testing, is analyzed. Next, for comparison, argumentation on BRCA testing in materials for healthcare consumers written by a not-for-profit health plan and a government organization, is analyzed. In view of the challenges identified by considering these examples, this article discusses how argumentation-oriented computer systems may be able to help the healthcare consumer to make informed decisions about genetic testing.
Keywords argumentation  genetic testing  cancer risk communication
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1075/jaic.1.1.09gre
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 52,704
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Review of Pilgram, Roosmaryn A Doctor’s Argument by Authority. [REVIEW]Nancy L. Green - 2017 - Journal of Argumentation in Context 6 (2):271-275.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Question Not Asked: The Challenge of Pleiotropic Genetic Tests.Robert Samuel Wachbroit - 1998 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 8 (2):131-144.
Genetic Disease, Genetic Testing and the Clinician.Kelly C. Smith - 2001 - Journal of the American Medical Association 285 (1):91.
The Relative Importance of Undesirable Truths.Lisa Bortolotti - 2012 - Medicine Healthcare and Philosophy (4):683-690.


Added to PP index

Total views
105 ( #88,532 of 2,340,056 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #150,373 of 2,340,056 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes