Houston doctors find dilemma in tests showing incest
Houston doctors are reporting that the newest generation of DNA testing, now in wide use, is revealing many previously missed incest cases that raise difficult legal and ethical questions.
In a letter in the British medical journal The Lancet today, Baylor College of Medicine geneticists advise hospitals to begin grappling with the issues that arise from the testing, which can unexpectedly show a patient was conceived through so-called “first-degree” familial relationships — father-daughter, mother-son or brother-sister.
“Hospitals that work with this sort of testing need to become more familiar with dealing with these kind of situations because they’re going to be seeing them more often,” Dr. Arthur Beaudet, Baylor’s chairman of molecular and human genetics and one of the letter’s authors, said in an interview. “We hope our letter will jump-start the process by which institutions put together guidelines.”