Genetic & Ancestry Tests – What You Need To Know Before Mailing The Kit In

Genetic & Ancestry Tests – What You Need To Know Before Mailing The Kit In


Hello and welcome back to Health &
Human Rights Strategies YouTube channel. I’m the founder and president of HHR
Nicole Fisher. Today, we wanted to talk about a very popular holiday gift that’s also been making some headlines: genetic tests or at-home ancestry tests. Now on one hand, these tests are a huge victory for science. I mean, they literally put science in the hands of people. On the other hand, a lot of individuals have found out things about themselves or their families they weren’t necessarily
prepared to. And a lot of questions about privacy have been raised. So we wanted to take a couple minutes and address your questions about at-home genetic tests. Now the first – and most important – thing to remember by far is that the results are not a diagnosis. What they are is an assessment of your risk. The likelihood and impact of you developing a disease or disorder. But you actually developing something is dependent on so many factors. Many of which are in your environment and how you live your life. Thus, results are not a diagnosis. The tests also vary by what they can tell you and how accurate they are. For example, these tests might have false positives. What that means is it may say that you have something, when in fact you don’t. Or a false negative, which says you don’t have something when in fact, you do. So you should always consult a doctor
about your results. Now on the population-level, these tests are incredible. They can tell us things about migration patterns of people over generations. They can tell us just how mixed most of us really are. Maybe even connect you to
people you’re related to that you didn’t know. And, they get you involved actively
in research – which is very important and fun. So long as you consent to the process and you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. What most people don’t know is that when you swab your cheek (or prick your finger) and you mail in that kit, you’re actually consenting to giving your information to third parties like pharmaceutical companies or marketing firms. So they can directly
market to you and your family. You and your family need to be prepared that you may also get results you’re not prepared to. You may learn something
about yourself or something that your family has carried for generations that no one knew about. 10 years ago, Congress took steps to protect you and your family. They passed what they called the
Genetic Information Non-discrimination Act. (GINA) What this did, is it prospectively said that your employer or an insurance company couldn’t discriminate against you based on results of a genetic test. But what this law didn’t do, was protect you from discrimination from life insurance companies, disability insurance, and long-term care –
like your home care and your hospice. They can deny you based on results of one of these ancestry kits. So before you or your family mail one of these kits in you, need to make sure that you know what you’re getting yourself into. And that you’re prepared for any and all results. And make sure to read the fine print

2 thoughts on “Genetic & Ancestry Tests – What You Need To Know Before Mailing The Kit In

  • If you want to learn more, you can read the full article here: Don't Mail In That DNA Kit Until You Know These Facts https://www.forbes.com/sites/nicolefisher/2019/03/30/dont-mail-in-that-dna-kit-until-you-know-these-facts

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