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Health

Brave new world faces the licensing cartel

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanSeptember 3, 2009 10:39 AM

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Dan MacArthur has a very good post, New York Times adopts medical establishment line on personal genomics:

The NY Times has an article entitled "Buyer beware of home DNA tests" that adopts the paternalistic party line of the medical establishment: taking DNA tests without a doctor's advice is hazardous to your health. Remarkably, the article acknowledges that qualified genetic counsellors are few and far between and that "most practicing physicians lack the knowledge and training in genetics to interpret [DNA tests] properly", and yet still suggests that customers should "take the findings to a qualified expert". Begging the question: which qualified expert should customers be taking their test results to?

The over-worked genetic counsellor who has enough on their plate dealing with serious genetic conditions without having to worry about a patient with a type 2 diabetes relative risk of 1.17?

Or the general practitioner who understands less about modern genetics than the typical DTC genetics customer?

Doctors are bad at using Bayes' Rule. There is no shame in that, it seems a human cognitive bias, but if you're a professional being paid a lot of money it's a different issue altogether.

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