Defining the Critical Components of Informed Consent for Genetic Testing

Defining the Critical Components of Informed Consent for Genetic Testing
Kelly E. Ormond, Maia J. Borensztein, Miranda L. G. Hallquist, Adam H. Buchanan, William Andrew Faucett, Holly L. Peay, Maureen E. Smith, Eric P. Tricou, Wendy R. Uhlmann, Karen E. Wain, Curtis R. Coughlin, Clinical Genome CADRe Workgroup
Journal of Personalised Medicine, 5 December 2021
Open Access
Abstract
Purpose
Informed consent for genetic testing has historically been acquired during pretest genetic counseling, without specific guidance defining which core concepts are required.
Methods
The Clinical Genome Resource (ClinGen) Consent and Disclosure Recommendations Workgroup (CADRe) used an expert consensus process to identify the core concepts essential to consent for clinical genetic testing. A literature review identified 77 concepts that are included in informed consent for genetic tests. Twenty-five experts (9 medical geneticists, 8 genetic counselors, and 9 bioethicists) completed two rounds of surveys ranking concepts’ importance to informed consent.
Results
The most highly ranked concepts included: (1) genetic testing is voluntary; (2) why is the test recommended and what does it test for?; (3) what results will be returned and to whom?; (4) are there other types of potential results, and what choices exist?; (5) how will the prognosis and management be impacted by results?; (6) what is the potential family impact?; (7) what are the test limitations and next steps?; and (8) potential risk of genetic discrimination and legal protections.
Conclusion
Defining the core concepts necessary for informed consent for genetic testing provides a foundation for quality patient care across a variety of healthcare providers and clinical indications.

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