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This Week In The Bmj

Clinical genetics should not impose a younger age limit on testing

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 17 April 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:g

The policy of many regional genetics units of not testing people aged under 18 conflicts with the needs of many teenagers and their ability to understand and consent to diagnosis of genetic disorders, argues Dikenson on p 1063. She uses the case of a 15 year old whose father has Huntingdon's disease and who wants to be tested to discuss the legal position and practice in other areas where children are deemed capable of giving consent to argue that each case should be considered on its merits. She argues that current guidelines were devised partly to protect children from being tested at their parents' request and do not take into account a situation where the child requests testing.

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