Council of Europe explains genetic testing

Strasbourg, 31.10.2012 – Under what circumstances is genetic testing foreseen? What does it look for? How should its results be interpreted? All questions are intelligibly answered in a new brochure produced by the Council of Europe, with the support of the European Society of Human Genetics and Eurogentest.

Genetic testing is a source of considerable advances in human health, and will increasingly form part of standard medical practice. Its use is not without implications for the persons concerned, and for their family members. Results are complex to analyse and often with limited predictive value, so it is important to get appropriate support when a genetic test is envisaged and on subsequent receipt of results. The availability of direct-to-consumer genetic test, online especially, outside any individualised medical supervision, raises particular concerns.
It is important for everyone to have access to objective general information about the nature of these tests, their application in the health field, and the extent but also the limits of results.
The brochure, available online, will be translated into some twenty European languages.

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