Description: This book offers recommendations regarding genetic testing, counseling, education and training, and the establishment and maintenance of laboratories. It also contains a broad discussion of the social, legal, and ethical implications of genetic testing and proposes an agenda for research and policy setting.
Purpose: This book will be most useful as a reference text for individuals wishing to explore the multiple and complex issues surrounding genetic testing and as a starting point for persons given the task of formulating public policy in areas involving genetics.
Audience: It is targeted at health care professionals and public policymakers interested in genetic testing. Potential readers should be warned that this book presumes a familiarity with basic human genetics and at least a nodding acquaintance with developments in genetics arising from the Human Genome Project.
Features: The book is divided into nine appropriately titled chapters that will aid both types of users in achieving their goals. The second chapter of the book attempts to explain some genetic concepts, but it is not a genetics primer and there are no illustrations.
Assessment: The recommendations presented in this book have a terseness, and the style of their presentation has an urgency that may make them appear more authoritative than they are. Not all who concern themselves with genetics and public policy agree with the opinions expressed in this book. A July 1994 statement from the Joint Committee on Professional Practice of the American College of Medical Genetics points out that the recommendations in this book seek to resolve problems in genetic testing perceived by its authors and that the solutions are somewhat utopian and inconsistent, in varying degrees, with practical realities or well-established practices. This book makes a significant, but not definitive, contribution to the formulation of public policy regarding genetic testing. It should be part of library collections on this topic, but it is unlikely to be useful as other than a reference text.