Ethical considerations and personal genome sequencing
If you looking to explore the many personal and social issues related to sequencing, or are considering volunteering for a genome sequencing research study, here are a few questions you might ask yourself:
- How much information do I want about my risks for disease? Will I learn other things I wasn't expecting?
- What information do I want to share, and with whom?
- What might I learn that is both exciting and maybe surprising about my ancestry?
- What roles do environment and lifestyle play in my personal traits?
- How much do my genes really reveal about me?
- How will my relatives feel about the information learned, as it could also impact them?
- Should I share information with my health, life, and long-term disability insurers?
- What, if any, sort of proactive decisions regarding lifestyle or medical choices should I make? Can I afford the treatments I might want or need? (**For a closer look at this issue - specifically about reproductive medicine, click here to see a PDF that lesson plan)
- Who owns my DNA, and the information contained within it?
- Could this change how I think about myself, culturally, physically, emotionally? (**for more on this question, please see our lesson plan (PDF format) "Personal, familial, and psychological questions", as it contains reading materials and links that may be of interest)
- What might some of the unintended consequences be for me,my family, and humankind?