Neurobehavioral Genetic Testing in Children: How Much Should We Know?
Recent advances in genetics have yielded important insights into the etiology of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs). Professional societies such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics now recommend testing patients newly diagnosed with ASD and some other NDDs with chromosomal microarray analysis (CMA). CMA can identify alterations in the number of copies of various regions in the entire genome for the purposes of comparison with known normal and pathogenic patterns. Although testing is recommended, neurobehavioral genetic testing of children remains fraught with ethical concerns. These concerns are amplified because of the vulnerability of the pediatric population and the complexity of this set of conditions, which are often neither fully explained nor resolved by genetic results.
The articles below introduce the ethical issues that arise at the intersection of genetics, pediatrics, and neuropsychiatry. Among these, issues of consent in pediatric care always warrant special caution, as most medical decisions are made through surrogates, typically parents, who act as “…
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