Genome research: implications for children

Janet K. Williams, University of Iowa
M. Lessick


New discoveries from genetic research may benefit children through increased knowledge of genetic causes of diseases, and new methods of diagnosis and treatment including presymptomatic diagnoses, carrier diagnoses, and gene therapy. However, these discoveries are also creating ethical, legal, and social dilemmas regarding children's health. Inaccurate interpretation of carrier test results, a limited understanding of implications of genetic information, emotional implications of testing, and potential insurance denials are examples. Ways in which pediatric nurses will apply knowledge of genome research in their practice include: education, counseling, advocacy, clarification of values and feelings, and referral for information, support, and assistance.