Genetics as a Family Affair

  • Dorothy C. Wertz
  • John C. Fletcher
Part of the International Library of Ethics, Law, and the New Medicine book series (LIME, volume 17)


Genetics is a family matter, to greater extent than other areas of medicine. We share our genes with family members. One person's diagnosis may contain important information for siblings, children, parents, and other relatives about their risks of developing disease, including common diseases such as cancer. Sometimes the information may be useful for taking preventive measures, planning lives, or deciding whether to have children. Sometimes family members would rather not know, because the information serves mainly to arouse anxiety. Sometimes the individual initially diagnosed does not want relatives to know. And sometimes the information does more harm than good, by disrupting family relationships.


Primary Care Physician Down Syndrome Retinitis Pigmentosa Huntington Disease Familial Hypercholesterolemia 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dorothy C. Wertz
    • 1
  • John C. Fletcher
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Massachusetts Medical School and Shriver CenterWalthamUSA
  2. 2.University of Virginia School of MedicineCharlottesvilleUSA

Personalised recommendations