The issue of genetic screening is controversial, as parent’s attitude differs depending on their knowledge about the procedure. For parents their child’s health should be a primary concern, and testing for possible medical conditions should make sense to them.
Reviewing genetic screening from the parents’ perspective, it is mandatory to get an informed consent from them before actually making any tests. Doherty F. underlines that “each person who comes for testing provide consent for participating in a diagnostic procedure that identifies one’s genetic profile or the risk of genetic disease” (Doherty 2015). Parents should be also explained that DNA samples of their child would be kept for definite or indefinite period of time. If I was a parent, I would by all means consent for the screening, but the genetic counselor should guarantee that privacy and secrecy of the child’s results wouldn’t be broken. According to Burke W. (2011), “newborn screening is now implemented in all developed countries”, so parents shouldn’t object something that could actually protect the child from unexpected risks and is globally a common thing. If DNA samples of a child are kept in a storage indefinitely, they should not bear child’s name on it to avoid the risk of a disclosure and possible lawsuits from the parents in future if screening results become known to the public.
As Green N. remarks, “powerful multiplex test technologies can identify children with anomalies that may – or may not – lead to disease” (Green, 2006), and if I was a parent, I would choose to be aware of my child’s health condition. Screening results should be explained to parents by a genetic counselor, who would provide all information required in easy and understandable language and wouldn’t “force the findings on a patient, compromising psychological defenses and well-being” (Doherty, 2015).
To conclude, gaining parents’ consent for genetic screening is mandatory, and most parents would not object such diagnostics. Genetic counselor should explain the parents not only information about the necessity of screening, but also if the DNA samples are kept, and their right to know or not to know the details of the screening.