Intended for healthcare professionals


Should “body MOTs” and DNA profiling be regulated?

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 21 April 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b1646
  1. Jacqui Wise
  1. 1London

    The Nuffield Council on Bioethics has launched a consultation on the ethical issues concerning commercial technologies such as DNA profiling and body imaging that increasingly mean that patients bypass their GP.

    For example, a number of companies offer to analyse an individual’s DNA for a range of health risks. The consultation document says that the disease risks associated with some of the genes being tested have not been well researched, potentially leaving people with misleading or inaccurate results.

    It is also possible to go to private healthcare companies for magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography to look for abnormalities that indicate disease. The consultation document says that these “body MOTs” (akin to Ministry of Transport vehicle tests) can cost several thousand pounds but tend …

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