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Download Am I My Genes?: Confronting Fate and Family Secrets in the by Robert Klitzman PDF

By Robert Klitzman

Within the fifty years for the reason that DNA was once chanced on, we've seen outstanding advances. for instance, genetic checking out has speedily stronger the prognosis and therapy of ailments comparable to Huntington's, cystic fibrosis, breast melanoma, and Alzheimer's. yet with this new wisdom comes tricky judgements for numerous humans, who strive against with worry approximately even if to get proven, and if this is the case, what to do with the implications. Am I My Genes? indicates how actual members have faced those concerns of their day-by-day lives.

Robert L. Klitzman interviewed sixty four those who confronted Huntington's affliction, breast and ovarian melanoma, or Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. The booklet describes--often within the person's personal words--how every one has wrestled with the tremendous implications that genetics has for his or her lives and their households. Klitzman indicates how those women and men fight to make feel in their problem and its motives. They confront a chain of quandaries--whether to be proven; no matter if to reveal their genetic dangers to oldsters, siblings, spouses, offspring, acquaintances, medical professionals, insurers, employers, and faculties; the way to view and comprehend themselves and their genetics; what remedies, if any, to pursue; even if to have kids, undertake, monitor embryos, or abort; and even if to take part in genetic groups. within the face of those uncertainties, they've got attempted to appreciate those exams and percentages, stay away from fatalism, nervousness, depression, and discrimination, and locate wish, that means, and a feeling of wholeness. pressured to wander via a barren region of moving sands, they chart paths that many others might finally stick with.

Klitzman captures the following the voices of pioneers, many of the first to come across the non-public dilemmas brought via smooth genetics. Am I My Genes? is a useful account in their adventure, person who becomes all of the extra universal within the coming years.

"An outstanding exploration...probing the various roles and implications of genetics in our lives today.... packed with extraordinary insights, this riveting booklet is key studying for us all." -- Paula Zahn

"Klitzman lucidly discusses the ethical and mental complexities that are available in the wake of genetic testing.... an incredible publication for somebody who has the genes for pathology, that is we all, and that i suggest it highly." -- Kay Redfield Jamison, writer of An Unquiet brain

"An illuminating voyage during the scientific, familial and existential quandaries confronted by way of these people at genetic risk." -- Thomas H. Murray, President and CEO, The Hastings middle Show

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Extra info for Am I My Genes?: Confronting Fate and Family Secrets in the Age of Genetic Testing

Example text

Many doctors don’t consider ordering an assay. As Yvonne, who eventually had lung transplants for Alpha, described: None of the 20 doctors [I saw] tested me for Alpha, or knew what it was. Finally, one happened to send in a simple blood test. I was always being diagnosed with asthma and bronchitis. Indeed, when eventually diagnosed, the delay could have high costs. She continued: When they finally detected it, it was too late. If doctors detect it earlier, they can treat it at the beginning, and extend your life.

Some may simply be more medically oriented than others. ” Testing can also occur because of another family member’s diagnosis, or discovery of a mutation—for example, because a sibling or parent is found to have the mutation, or dies of the disease. The presence of a mutation in a family member, not family history of disease alone, might impel testing. Sarah, a computer programmer with a family history of breast cancer, said, Before my sister underwent genetic testing, I had seen TV shows about genetic tests, but was lazy.

Evelyn, a housewife and mother in her thirties, said that her husband did not want her tested for HD because he feared the results would upset them. Consequently, though asymptomatic: I went to a psychic reader. ” My father-in-law had just died. I thought she probably means that. ” She said, “I’m talking about the devastating news in your family. ” She said, “You don’t carry the gene. . You’re fine and your children are fine. ” A weight lifted off me. I didn’t feel the strong urge to be tested.

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