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Gene-Testing Dispute Focuses on How Much a Patient Should Know

Should patients undergoing broad DNA testing for a specific ailment be told of unexpected findings that signal risk of cancer or other serious diseases, even if they don’t request the information?

The question is at the core of a battle brewing among doctors and ethicists amid growing use of gene sequencing for clinical use and the plethora of information that results from such tests. Writing today in the journal Science, a team of ethicists said patients should decide how much they want to know and how deeply scientists should look into their genome.