Practical and ethical issues with genetic screening.

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Clinical hematologists are faced with a growing list of new genetic-based tools for identifying a patient's risk of disease. While many of the disease-specific tests are readily available, validation studies are required. Furthermore, genetic-based tests are being pushed to their technical limits, such as testing a single cell prior to embryo selection and transfer for couples at risk of genetic disease. As a result, misdiagnosis or misinterpretation of the data may result. As new genetic testing opportunities proliferate, the hematologist needs to be aware of the medical and legal issues surrounding their use. Furthermore, the hematologist needs to consider the psychological, ethical and social implications of this new field of genomic-based medicine.


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