Physicians' Legal Duties Regarding the Use of Genetic Tests to Predict and Diagnose Alzheimer Disease
Journal of Legal Medicine, Vol. 21, Pp. 445-475, December 2000
Posted: 16 Nov 2000
This article identifies and explores the possible impact of genetic science advances concerning Alzheimer's disease on legal standards delineating acceptable medical practice in the realm of predicting and diagnosing Alzheimer's disease, and on the potential liability exposure of physicians who care for patients who are now, or in the future may become, Alzheimer's disease victims. Specific issues addressed include: What obligation, if any, does a physician owe a patient to offer genotyping for Alzheimer's disease for predictive purposes? For diagnostic purposes? What are the informed consent ramifications of such offers? To what extent, if any, is there a duty on the physician's part to perform genetic testing for Alzheimer's disease in response to patient demand? What standards of care apply to the physician's communication of Alzheimer's-related genetic testing results to a patient? What confidentiality considerations apply to Alzheimer's disease-related genetic information about a patient, particularly if potential rights of third parties must be taken into account?
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