Policy ForumPoint-Counterpoint

Patient Autonomy and Incidental Findings in Clinical Genomics

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Science  31 May 2013:
Vol. 340, Issue 6136, pp. 1049-1050
DOI: 10.1126/science.1239119

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Exome and whole-genome sequencing are rapidly moving into clinical application to aid diagnosis and treatment. However, a startling statement by the American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) may prove to be a stumbling block (1). Rather than reconfirming well-established principles of patient autonomy and informed consent that have long applied in medical genetics and in medical practice more broadly, ACMG recommends an abrupt change.