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

By Robert Klitzman

Within the fifty years when you consider that DNA used to be chanced on, we've seen striking advances. for instance, genetic trying out has quickly stronger the analysis and therapy of ailments reminiscent of 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 no matter if to get proven, and if this is the case, what to do with the consequences. Am I My Genes? indicates how genuine participants have faced those matters of their day-by-day lives.

Robert L. Klitzman interviewed sixty four those that confronted Huntington's affliction, breast and ovarian melanoma, or Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency. The booklet describes--often within the person's personal words--how each one has wrestled with the huge implications that genetics has for his or her lives and their households. Klitzman exhibits how those women and men fight to make experience in their quandary and its factors. They confront a sequence of quandaries--whether to be proven; even if to reveal their genetic dangers to folks, siblings, spouses, offspring, associates, medical professionals, insurers, employers, and colleges; the best way to view and comprehend themselves and their genetics; what remedies, if any, to pursue; even if to have young ones, undertake, reveal embryos, or abort; and no matter if to take part in genetic groups. within the face of those uncertainties, they've got attempted to appreciate those assessments and percentages, steer clear of fatalism, nervousness, melancholy, and discrimination, and locate desire, which means, and a feeling of wholeness. compelled to wander via a wasteland of transferring sands, they chart paths that many others could ultimately stick with.

Klitzman captures the following the voices of pioneers, the various first to come across the non-public dilemmas brought by way of glossy genetics. Am I My Genes? is a useful account in their event, person who turns into the entire extra universal within the coming years.

"An striking exploration...probing the numerous roles and implications of genetics in our lives today.... jam-packed with remarkable insights, this riveting ebook is essential interpreting for us all." -- Paula Zahn

"Klitzman lucidly discusses the ethical and mental complexities that are available in the wake of genetic testing.... an incredible e-book for an individual 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 clinical, familial and existential quandaries confronted by means of these people at genetic risk." -- Thomas H. Murray, President and CEO, The Hastings heart Show

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

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A few people had their insurance company pay because it was willing to, and they thought that the odds of future discrimination were low. Still, uncertainties loomed. Rachel worked in publishing and had breast cancer. Much of her family had died in the Holocaust, which left her without much 44 G E N E S I N T H E FA M I LY knowledge of her family’s medical history, and she was concerned about the possibility of future discrimination. She engaged in a complicated calculus, weighing the odds of discrimination against the lab costs (approximately $3,500).

I forget everything. My kids are in a million different activities, and I’m constantly running here and there. That’s probably why I forget everything. But in the back of my mind, I’m always thinking, “What if . ” I want to know one way or the other. Unfortunately, testing for this reason runs the risk of yielding unwelcome news. Hence, individuals have to struggle to gauge the exact amount of anxiety they can tolerate. As Patty, asymptomatic and untested for HD, monitoring herself in a body sculpting class, said: “If I obsessed and thought about it too much, and it overtook my life, I would be tested.

It’s really a huge decision. It’s not the same as: you have an ear infection or not. This affects your identity. ” It’s a knee-jerk reaction. It makes it easier for them. WHY T E S T ? The reasons for testing varied somewhat with each of these diseases. For Alpha, physicians more than patients usually initiated testing, and no strong 38 G E N E S I N T H E FA M I LY disadvantages appeared. People facing risks of HD and breast cancer confront a range of intra-personal and social reasons to test or not.

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