Public Supports Using Genetic Data for Most Purposes

A recent Wall Street Journal Online/Harris Interactive poll of 3091 U.S. adults shows widespread support for using genetic data for many purposes, such as research, medicine, and fighting crime.

Attitudes were very clearly pointing in the other direction for health/life insurance and employment purposes. Hands off insurers and employers, the U.S. public doesn’t want you to have their data! Another indication that for adoption of personal health records to succeed in the U.S., they’ll need to come from outside the system.

Poll results below the jump.

Here are the results:

  Strongly/Somewhat Support (NET) Strongly/Somewhat Oppose (NET)
To identify criminals in rape, murder and other crimes 93% 2%
To establish paternity (whether a man is or is not the father of a child) 92 3
Research by scientists to find new ways to prevent or treat diseases 91 4
Genetic testing by doctors to identify diseases for which people are at risk 88 7
Genetic therapy to treat people who have, or are likely to get, a particular disease 87 6
To trace one’s family tree and ancestors 85 7
By fertility clinics to screen potential parents for inherited diseases or genetic weaknesses 72 18
By life insurance companies to determine who to insure or how much to charge 14 80
By health insurance companies to determine who to insure and how much to charge 14 80
By employers to help decide whether to employ somebody 12 81


2005 poll about genetic discrimination (”we’re nervous”)

2004 poll about personal access to medical records (”we want it”)

2003 poll about using genetics for diet and health (”we’re ready”)


One Response to “Public Supports Using Genetic Data for Most Purposes”

  1. Trackbacks on March 23rd, 2019 10:16 am

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