ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Genetic Testing: Risk of Knowing

Updated on September 9, 2019
mcgreg28 profile image

Nicky is multispecialty Nurse Practitioner who is certified in Facial Esthetics (Botox and dermal fillers).


Genetic testing carries serious implications. Issues regarding testing circumstances, type of testing, use of results, and testing conditions often raise concerns. Should testing be mandatory? What are privacy and confidential implications of testing? Should patients control what happens with test results? What personal and societal implications does genetic testing carry? Should measures be in place to protect patients from vulnerability due to their genotype?

Can Be Costly

There are several issues to consider when considering genetic testing: Benefits, cost, personal, social and societal implications. Often, when ordered by a physician due to medical necessity, genetic testing is covered by health insurance policies. In other cases, where treatment is unavailable, patients will have difficulty with insurance coverage for testing (Capasso, 2014). To avoid increases in health insurance premiums due to testing results, some patients may choose to pay for testing out of pocket. This approach may prove costly.


False Negative or False Positive Results?

Other issues regarding genetic testing concerns its predictive value. The limited predictive value of some genetic testing may place patients in a position of making difficult decisions with limited information. This may lead to confusion and uncertainties in decision making for patients and clinicians. Due to the screening nature of some genetic testing, the issue of false-positive and false-negative results are often of concern (Anderson, 2013).

Personal vs Societal Implications

Genetic testing is not without personal or societal implications. Not all genetic testing carries treatment interventions, and so, patients with conditions for which there are no treatment interventions may be at risk for psychological harm. Patients may also have concerns of the discriminatory effects of the genetic condition (Perlman, et al., 2015). Some patients may refuse genetic testing, despite qualification, due to fear of losing health insurance coverage or fear of job displacement (Matloff, Bonadies, Moyer, & Brierley, 2014). In addition, genetic conditions may place patients at risk for societal stigmatization. Genetic testing also has the potential to impinge on patient’s autonomy as in the case of mandatory newborn screening for phenylketonuria (PKU) and hypothyroidism.



Anderson, R. A. (2013, January). Newborn screening false-positives and maternal perceived uncertainty. Newborn Screening False-positives & Maternal Perceived Uncertainty, 126 p.

Capasso, J. E. (2014). The cost of genetic testing for ocular disease: who pays?. Current Opinion In Ophthalmology, 25(5), 394-399. doi:10.1097/ICU.0000000000000085

Matloff, E., Bonadies, D., Moyer, A., & Brierley, K. (2014). Changes in Specialists' Perspectives on Cancer Genetic Testing, Prophylactic Surgery and Insurance Discrimination: Then and Now. Journal Of Genetic Counseling, 23(2), 164-171. doi:10.1007/s10897-013-9625-z

Perlman, D. C., Gelpí-Acosta, C., Friedman, S. R., Jordan, A. E., & Hagan, H. (2015). Perceptions of genetic testing and genomic medicine among drug users


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)