Genetic Testing
by Sarah Boslaugh
January 2020, 202pp, 6 1/8x9 1/4
1 volume, Greenwood

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-6650-0
$41, £31, 36€, A56
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-6651-7
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

More than 12 million Americans have participated in direct-to-consumer genetic testing to learn more about their health and ancestry, but the service remains highly controversial.

Genetic testing has provided important clues to understanding our health, but it has also raised many ethical, legal, and medical questions and concerns. This book explores the breadth of genetic testing, its possibilities, and the controversies that surround its use.

The mapping of the human genome has paved the way for a variety of genetic tests. Expectant mothers can have their fetus screened for a variety of genetic abnormalities, and couples worried that they might be carriers for a genetic disorder can be tested before deciding to have children. Women can be screened for the BRCA2 gene that has been linked to increased risk of breast cancer. Individuals curious about their ancestry can find out more about their heritage. Genetic testing can also be used to establish paternity and help solve crimes.

Part of Greenwood’s Health and Medical Issues Today series, this book is divided into three sections. Part I explores the history of genetic testing, including the rise of direct-to-consumer tests, and outlines the current applications and contexts in which genetic testing is performed. Part II delves deep into the ethical, legal, financial, medical, and psychological issues and controversies that surround genetic testing. Part III provides a variety of useful materials, including case studies, a timeline of critical events, and a directory of resources.


  • Explores genetic testing in a multitude of contexts and settings, including prenatal screenings, at-home direct-to-consumer health and ancestry tests, and paternity tests
  • Examines key ethical, financial, legal, and medical issues related to genetic testing, such as genetic discrimination in insurance coverage, pregnancy termination, and test accuracy
  • Offers illuminating case studies that use engaging real-world scenarios to highlight key ideas and debates discussed in the book
  • Provides readers with a helpful Directory of Resources to guide their search for additional information
Sarah Boslaugh, PhD, is a tutor in mathematics and science at Forest Park Community College, Saint Louis, MO. She is author of Drug Resistance and Transgender Health Issues, both in Greenwood’s Health and Medical Issues Today series. She is also author of Health Care Systems Around the World and Statistics in a Nutshell.

Health and Medical Issues Today

From the latest developments in treatment to updates on public health threats, information about health and medicine impacts lives more directly than almost any other subject. Despite a wealth of coverage online and in print media, there is still an overwhelming need for a single source to which a reader can turn for accurate, current information on an issue of concern.

The series Health and Medical Issues Today provides just such one-stop resources for those seeking solid overviews of the most controversial and persisting issues in health and psychology. Each volume offers a balanced, in-depth introduction to the medical, scientific, legal, and cultural aspects of subjects ranging from obesity to sports medicine, mental illness, HIV/AIDS, and tobacco use.
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