Whole Genome Scans Could Reveal Too Much

34:00 minutes

When doctors run out of clues on how to treat a cancer patient, they sometimes order a scan of all the patient’s genes. But such a test can turn up unexpected results, such as greater risk of another disease. When are doctors obligated to tell the patient what they know? And do patients have the right not to know?

Segment Guests

Henry 'Hank' Greely

Hank Greely is a professor of law who teaches law and genetics at Stanford University in Stanford, California. He’s the author of The End of Sex and the Future of Human Reproduction (Harvard University Press, 2016).

Susan Wolf

Susan Wolf is the McKnight Presidential Professor of Law, Medicine & Public Policy and a principal investigator on an NIH grant on whether families have the right to an individuals’ genomic information at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Kelly Ormond

Kelly Ormond is a professor of Genetics at Stanford University School of Medicine. She’s also a faculty member for the Stanford Center for Biomedical Ethics. She’s based in Stanford, California.

Pam Widick

Pam Widick is a registered nurse and patient at the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine in Webster City, Iowa.

Meet the Producer

About Christopher Intagliata

Christopher Intagliata was Science Friday’s senior producer. He once served as a prop in an optical illusion and speaks passable Ira Flatowese.