DNA testing is changing the practice of medicine, but laws in the US aren't keeping up with the progress of technology. Now, doctors are already facing a pile of lawsuits that sometimes hold them liable for how they offer, interpret, and counsel patients about genetic tests.
The LawSeq project is aiming to ameliorate that dynamic. The 3-year, $2 million project is building a legal foundation to support genomic medicine.
Because science and standard medical practices are in flux, professional organizations can't yet say "here is what you must do," Reed Pyeritz, a medical geneticist at the University of Pennsylvania, tells Science. But that could change. "Some laboratories are starting to reanalyze [variants] annually," Amy Lynn McGuire, an attorney and medical ethicist at Baylor College of Medicine tells Science. If more and more labs adopt that practice, those that don't could face legal risks, she adds.