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Clin Genet. 1998 Oct;54(4):321-9.

Mexican geneticists' opinions on disclosure issues.

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Departamento de Genética, Instituto Nacional de la Nutrición Salvador Zubirán, Tlalpan, Mexico.


Here we discuss the opinion on disclosure issues (respect for confidentiality) of Mexican professionals working in clinical genetics. The information was obtained from a comprehensive survey on genetics, ethics and society organized by Wertz and Fletcher in 1993, in which geneticists from 37 nations participated. The responses to 18 questions from 64 of 89 (72%) geneticists invited to participate were analyzed for this paper. The questions were directed to investigate: a) disclosure of clinically relevant information in several situations such as testicular feminization syndrome, mosaic de novo balanced translocation in a fetus, or accidental discovery of non-paternity; b) the protection of patient's privacy from the spouse or blood relatives; and c) confidentiality in cases with high genetic risk to relatives. The results reveal significant disparity between general responses related to disclosure of all clinically relevant information and specific responses in particular cases. In addition, professionals appear to give higher priority to protecting the spouse, blood relatives or public safety, rather than the patient's confidentiality.

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