Ethical considerations in genomic testing for hematologic disorders

Jonathan M. Marron and Steven Joffe


As our technological capacities improve, genomic testing is increasingly integrating into patient care. The field of clinical hematology is no exception. Genomic testing carries great promise, but several ethical issues must be considered whenever such testing is performed. This review addresses these ethical considerations, including issues surrounding informed consent and the uncertainty of the results of genomic testing; the challenge of incidental findings; and possible inequities in access to and benefit from such testing. Genomic testing is likely to transform the practice of both benign and malignant hematology, but clinicians must carefully consider these core ethical issues in order to make the most of this exciting and evolving technology.

  • Submitted January 30, 2017.
  • Accepted March 14, 2017.