According to a new Wall Street Journal Online/Harris Interactive Health care Poll, the public is almost unanimous in its positive opinions on the science of genetics and the use of DNA for purposes of public health and safety.
While only five percent of all adults have ever had a genetic test to study their DNA, the vast majority of U.S. adults (93 percent) feel that genetic science is a good thing, and few (only 1 percent) feel it is a bad thing. Furthermore, most adults are supportive of using genetic information for purposes such as to identify criminals (93 percent) and to treat disease (87 percent).
These are some of the results of a Harris Interactive online survey of 3,091 U.S. adults, conducted between August 10 and 14, 2006 for The Wall Street Journal Online's Health Industry Edition.
On the other hand, when it comes to issues that could affect their jobs or insurance coverage and costs, adults do not want DNA science to play a role. Approximately four out of five adults strongly or somewhat oppose the use of genetic information by employers to help decide whether to employ somebody (81 percent), life insurance companies to determine who to insure or how much to charge (80 percent) and health insurance companies to determine who to insure and how much to charge (80 percent).
This news story was provided by LexisNexis and originally appeared in Patient Care Law Weekly.