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PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:
16-May-2013

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Contact: Glenna Picton
picton@bcm.edu
713-798-4710
Baylor College of Medicine
@bcmhouston

Ethicists provide framework supporting new recommendations on reporting incidental findings in gene sequencing

HOUSTON - (May 16, 2013) - In a paper published in Science Express, a group of experts led by bioethicists in the Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy at Baylor College of Medicine provide a framework for the new American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) recommendations on reporting incidental findings in clinical exome and genome sequencing.

In March 2013, the ACMG recommended that all laboratories conducting clinical sequencing seek and report pathogenic and expected pathogenic mutations for a short list of carefully chosen genes and conditions.

In this paper, Dr. Amy McGuire, director of the Center for Ethics and Health Policy at BCM and a lead author on the paper, and colleagues from BCM, Harvard Medical School, The University of California San Francisco, The National Human Genome Research Institute, The University of Alberta in Edmonton, Canada and the Genetic Alliance explain why they believe the ACMG position that laboratories have an obligation to report clinically beneficial incidental findings is ethically justified and compatible with respect for patient autonomy.

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