2018, Rhetoric + Argumentation

Direct-to-Consumer Genetic Testing: A Call for a More Interpretive Approach


The F.D.A. recently granted approval to the genetic testing company 23andMe to offer screenings for three mutations of the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes that increase one’s likelihood of developing breast cancer. This controversial decision creates a conflict between the fundamental bioethical principles of autonomy and beneficence/non-maleficence. In this paper, I argue that, while provision of these test results should not be banned, the F.D.A.’s decision insufficiently considers the risks posed by relatively unfettered access to these test results. Therefore, a guarantee of the opportunity to consult a professional throughout the process and an explicit recommendation to consumers to do so is needed.

2nd Place – Rhetoric + Argumentation

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