New Problem for Pathologists and Physicians: Should Patients Be Told about Incidental Findings from Clinical Laboratory Tests?
Pathologists and clinical laboratory managers will need a strategy for handling incidental findings
When a genetic test for a certain type of cancer provides additional information that could affect the patient’s health, what is the ethical course of action for pathologists and clinical laboratory scientists? Should this information be disclosed to the physician who ordered that cancer test? In turn, should that physician inform his or her patient about these “incidental findings?”
All medical laboratory professionals will soon find themselves regularly dealing with this challenge because of the rapid increase in the number of molecular diagnostic assays and genetic tests that produce large quantities of data about the patient. (more…)