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The Family Imperative in Genetic Testing 

The Family Imperative in Genetic Testing
Chapter:
The Family Imperative in Genetic Testing
Author(s):

Lorraine Cowley

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190624880.003.0005
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date: 05 June 2020

The context of this case study, based on empirical qualitative research, is genetic testing for cancer susceptibility. Within genetics, information may have shared significance for family members, but not everyone necessarily has the same desire to know their genetic probability of developing cancer. Professional ethics codes in the UK dictate that genetic testing is offered as an individual choice, not a shared one, although in practice family members may be invited to, or request, shared appointments. Here the ideal of individual choice comes into contact with pressures of family dynamics, and these may influence how people engage with choice as individuals.

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