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Do DTC Personal Genome Testing Services Represent a Cultural Divide?

In a succint commentary on the actions of the California Department of Public Health's cease and desist order to 13 direct-to-consumer personal genome testing companies, Thomas Goetz argues that he has a right to this information, especially in a climate where the vast majority of the medical professionals are clueless about these emerging technologies.

He suggests that this issue represents a cultural divide as much as a regulatory one.

Money quote:

The assumption that there must be a layer of "professional help" is exactly what the new age of medicine bodes -- the automation of expertise, the liberation of knowledge and the democratization of the tools to interpret and put to use fundamental information about who we are as people. Not as patients, but as individuals. This is not a dark art, province of the select few, as many physicians would have it. This is data. This is who I am. Frankly, it's insulting and a curtailment of my rights to put a gatekeeper between me and my DNA.

This is *my* data, not a doctor's. Please, send in your regulators when a doctor needs to cut me open, or even draw my blood. Regulation should protect me from bodily harm and injury, not from information that's mine to begin with.

Posted by Kristin Oehlke on June 28, 2008 2:25 PM |