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Genet Test. 2001 Winter;5(4):275-80.

Closing the gaps in genetics legislation and policy: a report by the new york state task force on life and the law.

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New York State Task Force on Life and the Law, New York, NY 10001, USA.


The New York State Task Force on Life and the Law, a state bioethical policy commission, recently completed a project addressing the ethical, legal, and social concerns surrounding the predictive uses of genetic testing. Its report, Genetic Testing and Screening in the Age of Genomic Medicine, makes legislative, public policy, and practice recommendations on a host of issues. As part of this project, the Task Force reviewed the current policy and legislative landscapes related to confidentiality protections for genetic information and the use of genetic information by insurers. It also assessed requirements for informed consent to clinical genetic testing and for the use of clinical samples for genetics research. The Task Force considered gaps and unintended consequences of relevant genetic testing legislation and assessed its flexibility to address new uses of genetic testing, such as pharmacogenetic testing, and new ways of offering tests, such as multiplex testing panels. The Task Force also considered the relevance of the pleiotropic characteristic of genes for issues of informed consent to genetic testing and the confidentiality of genetic information. The Task Force's recommendations, presented here, seek to promote the appropriate uses of clinical genetic testing and research while preventing potential harms.

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