Am I My Genes?: Confronting Fate and Family Secrets in the - download pdf or read online

By Robert Klitzman

ISBN-10: 0199837171

ISBN-13: 9780199837175

Within the fifty years considering that DNA used to be came across, we've seen amazing advances. for instance, genetic trying out has quickly more suitable the analysis and therapy of ailments reminiscent of Huntington's, cystic fibrosis, breast melanoma, and Alzheimer's. yet with this new wisdom comes tough judgements for numerous humans, who strive against with worry approximately no matter if to get established, and if this is the case, what to do with the implications. Am I My Genes? exhibits how actual members have faced those matters of their day-by-day lives.

Robert L. Klitzman interviewed sixty four those that confronted Huntington's sickness, 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 substantial implications that genetics has for his or her lives and their households. Klitzman indicates how those women and men fight to make feel in their difficulty and its reasons. They confront a sequence of quandaries--whether to be demonstrated; even if to reveal their genetic hazards to folks, siblings, spouses, offspring, buddies, medical professionals, insurers, employers, and colleges; how one can view and comprehend themselves and their genetics; what remedies, if any, to pursue; even if to have kids, undertake, display embryos, or abort; and even if to take part in genetic groups. within the face of those uncertainties, they've got attempted to appreciate those exams and possibilities, steer clear of fatalism, anxiousness, depression, and discrimination, and locate desire, that means, and a feeling of wholeness. compelled to wander via a desolate tract of moving sands, they chart paths that many others may perhaps ultimately keep on with.

Klitzman captures right here the voices of pioneers, the various first to come across the non-public dilemmas brought via smooth genetics. Am I My Genes? is a useful account in their event, one who becomes the entire extra universal within the coming years.

"An outstanding exploration...probing the numerous roles and implications of genetics in our lives today.... jam-packed with surprising insights, this riveting ebook is key analyzing for us all." -- Paula Zahn

"Klitzman lucidly discusses the ethical and mental complexities that are available in the wake of genetic testing.... an incredible booklet 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 in the course of the clinical, familial and existential quandaries confronted through these people at genetic risk." -- Thomas H. Murray, President and CEO, The Hastings middle Show

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

Sample text

Luckily, she learned that she lacked the mutation. Testing was sought, too, to eliminate the anxieties surrounding ongoing self-assessments and examinations, which themselves induce stress. Yet this motivation may prove strongest among those who believe they lack the mutation. Testing can also result from wishes to reduce anxieties about possible symptoms—for example, to ascertain that momentary forgetfulness is normal, rather than due to HD. Yet, as mentioned, with HD these issues can become very complicated, since anxiety can itself be a symptom of the disease.

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. ” This relative amount of worry can range widely between people.

Testing was sought, too, to eliminate the anxieties surrounding ongoing self-assessments and examinations, which themselves induce stress. Yet this motivation may prove strongest among those who believe they lack the mutation. Testing can also result from wishes to reduce anxieties about possible symptoms—for example, to ascertain that momentary forgetfulness is normal, rather than due to HD. Yet, as mentioned, with HD these issues can become very complicated, since anxiety can itself be a symptom of the disease.

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Am I My Genes?: Confronting Fate and Family Secrets in the Age of Genetic Testing by Robert Klitzman


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