Predictive genetic testing for hereditary cancers in children: An argumentation

Hazem Al Azzam, Majd T. Mrayyan*, Khloud Al Dameery, Omar Al Omari

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Context: Whether predictive genetic testing should be used on children to detect inherited cancers is one of the common debates in the medical field. This is an emerging and escalating issue related to the advancement of medical technologies and sciences. Objectives: To advocate the predictive genetic testing of children to detect inherited cancers from the ethical and legal perspectives of both proponents and opponents. Conclusions: Various opinions about the predictive genetic testing of children to detect inherited cancers were discussed; this will help healthcare providers to stand on firm ground regarding the current issue. Many of the ethical and legal issues noted by both proponents and opponents were discussed. Common ethical concerns are children's autonomy versus the parents' rights to decide, health insurance, genetic discrimination, and whether the benefits outweigh the risks of testing. There are many laws to protect children's welfare in areas related to genetic discrimination, children's autonomy, and health insurance; however, many organisations defer the genetic testing of children until adulthood, especially if there are no clear medical benefits. The authors are proponents for the genetic testing of children in order to detect inherited cancers. More efforts are needed in the areas of healthcare procedures, legislation, disease prevention, and community awareness when it comes to fighting cancers.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere89015
JournalJournal of Comprehensive Pediatrics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2020


  • Children
  • Ethics
  • Genetic Testing
  • Inherited Cancers
  • Laws
  • Predictive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health

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