Nursing has been challenged to lead in all areas of knowledge development in genetics. In addition to participation in genetic counseling and research, the profession must be an advocate for the proper use of new clinical practices in genetic care. One of these areas is the largely unregulated practice of genetic testing of minor children. Psychological and bioethical concerns have been raised about testing children at parental request when no immediate benefit will result. Several professional bodies have urged the adoption of guidelines that would limit parental choice in the testing process. This article argues that little data exists to support the creation of strict regulations, and also notes that analysis of this issue through the use of alternative ethical theory can yield useful directions for nurses attempting to navigate this controversial topic.

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