In the post-genomic era, we are witnessing significant advances in the functional decipherment of the human genome sequence that have been made possible by new technological developments in the field of genomic medicine. Although this has facilitated the incorporation of genetic testing services into mainstream clinical practice, in many European countries, there is very little knowledge as to how either the general public or medical practitioners perceive genetics and genetic testing services.
The Golden Helix Foundation has encouraged and financially supported nationwide studies in order to better understand how the general public, medical practitioners and public and private genetic laboratories perceive genetic testing. These studies provide the basis for a critical assessment of the views of the general public and physicians on genetics and genetic testing services in several European countries, while these surveys could be readily replicated in other countries in Europe with the ultimate aim of improving the public understanding of genetics and genetic testing, and facilitating the incorporation of genomic medicine into everyday clinical practice.
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