Personal Genetics Education Project

Ethical questions

If you looking to explore the many personal and social issues related to sequencing, or are considering volunteering for a genome sequencing research study or purchasing some form of genome analysis, here are a few questions you might ask yourself:

  • How much information do I want about my risks for disease? Will I learn other things I wasn’t expecting?
  • What information do I want to share, and with whom?
  • What might I learn that is both exciting and maybe surprising about my ancestry?
  • What roles do environment and lifestyle play in my personal traits?
  • How much do my genes really reveal about me?
  • How will my relatives feel about the information learned, as it could also impact them?
  • Should I share information with my health, life, and long-term disability insurers?
  • What, if any, sort of proactive decisions regarding lifestyle or medical choices should I make? Can I afford the treatments I might want or need?
  • Who owns my DNA, and the information contained within it?
  • Could this change how I think about myself, culturally, physically, emotionally?
  • What might some of the unintended consequences be for me, my family, and society?