Would You Use an Over-the-Counter Genetic Test?

"World News" wants to know what you think. Tell us below.

ByABC News
May 11, 2010, 8:35 AM

May 11, 2010— -- Pathway Genomics, a San Diego company, has announced that beginning Friday, shoppers at most of Walgreens' 7,500 stores across the U.S. can buy an over-the-counter genetic test . The test would scan their genes for the possibility that they'll develop such conditions as Alzheimer's disease, breast cancer or diabetes.

Pathway Genomics also says the test can be used to forecast what genetic disorders future children might have, and weigh the likelihood that they'll become obese or go blind.

The test consists of a salvia collection kit, and costs between $20 and $30. The saliva sample is sent back to Pathway Genomics labs, and from there, users can log on to Pathway's website for a series of services that range form pregnancy planning to testing for health conditions.

Critics of the test have already emerged, and say putting genetic testing into untrained hands could lead to unnecessary testing and missed diagnoses.

"Genetic testing is a complex, difficult and emotionally laden medical process, which requires extensive counseling, contextualization and interpretation," said Dr. Michael A. Grodin, professor of bioethics, human rights, family medicine and psychiatry at Boston University Schools of Medicine and Public Health.

Our question for you today: Would You Use an Over-the-Counter Genetic Test?