Genetic testing is a complex process made up of techniques to examine genes or markers near genes. These tests are targeted at healthy, presymptomatic people who are identified as being high risk because of a strong medical history for a specific disease or disorder. This process relies on lab procedures being accurately interpreted and avoiding false negatives and false positives. Genetic testing will not improve the quality of life and may result in discrimination and invasion of privacy, harmful gene therapy, and factors surrounding the probability of misinterpretation and lab error. .
Many people are preoccupied with the notion that all information collected from genetic testing should be given to the tested individual. There are possible preventative and precautionary measures could take place to help avoid, or even treat presumed diseases when detected early. Although early detection can be beneficial in some cases, there are strong risks involved outweighing the benefits. .
Some tests give only a probability for developing a certain disorder. There is difficulty in interpreting a positive result due to some people who show a disease-associated mutation never developing that disease. There is also a probability factor involved in lab error. A limitation of medical testing is a possibility of lab error, due to minor things such as sample misidentification or contamination of chemicals used in testing. These inaccuracies relayed to the tested individual could provoke unnecessary anxiety and stress-related difficulties, which may do more harm than good. .
The risks of discrimination and social stigmatization could outweigh the benefits of testing. Any invasion of privacy could lead to test results being exposed. This exposure could lead to discrimination from a current or prospective employer, insurance companies, or family and friends.