The Human Genetics Commission (HGC) published a consultation document last week, to help identify its priority areas of work over the next two to three years. It suggests that legal protection of genetic information and the implementation of genetic testing should be among the key areas of its initial work.
The HGC was set up recently, to provide the government with strategic advice on developments in human genetics and their implications. Among the suggestions outlined in the document as possible priorities are the issues surrounding prenatal genetic testing and reproductive choices - for example, how much information should patients and other members of their families be given about the results of genetic tests?
The HGC also plans to consider the NHS provision of genetic testing, in order to advise ministers planning future healthcare services. A further suggestion was the European directive on gene patenting, which comes into force later this year.
The consultation ends on 10 April, the day of an HGC public meeting. Comments can be submitted via the HGC website, which also contains further information about the commission.