Ethical Issues Surrounding Personal Health Records : Google Health and the Cleveland Clinic’s announced a partnership this week and everyone’s buzzing about privacy, portability, and all things Google. “HIPAA” has officially entered the public vernacular. David Hamilton outlines privacy and other ethical issues at Venture Beat . Steve Lohr adds more at his NYTimes blog, Bits . Betsy Schiffman at Wired’s blog is a bit more blase.
Paternity Testing : A simple test, a sensational tabloid topic, and sometimes a sticky wicket of ethical issues, too. Identigene is now offering a drugstore paternity test, which they claim may be used for legal purposes. But legally admissable test results require chain-of-custody documentation . I wonder how a drugstore kit will swing that? Many of us here at DNA Direct take issue with Identigene’s support (encouragement?) of gathering DNA samples without the tester’s knowledge and consent. On a different note, the Wall Street Journal mentions that 1 in 25 births is a non-paternal event. I’ve heard tell in some medical circles that the rate of non-paternal events is estimated to be as high as 1 in 10 births.
And speaking of paternity testing. And twins … Hsien Lei trumped my posts on twins (as always) with her discussion about a paternity suit involving identical twin brothers . She explains more about how there can be genetic differences between identical twins, who hatch from the same fertilized egg.