Great Cowboy Junkies song from the 90s:
I just want to see what kills me. Well, would you? This morning, I learned of the existence of 23 and Me, a company that will do full genotyping of your spit sample for a cheap cheap $99. They’ll check your carrier status for 47 inherited conditions, and your genetic risk factors for 247 diseases. Genotyping can also reveal how you will respond (or fail to respond) to certain blood thinners, antidepressants, cholesterol-lowering meds, and so forth.
Do you want to know if you have a 60% chance of developing Parkinson’s disease? That you’re at risk of developing Lou Gehrig’s disease, coronary artery disease, cancer of the whatever? They’ve got all the bases covered. And if you think knowledge is power, 23 and Me is offering an awful lot of power for a relatively small sum of money.
I wonder, though, whether this knowledge might affect how I respond to future questionnaires for hospital privileges (Do you have any conditions which could affect your ability to perform your duties as a physician?) or health/life insurance. And if I learn something really scary, how do I keep it from dragging me down?
I think I want to do this. Of the other four docs who I was with today, only one of them was as excited as I was about the prospect of getting genotyped. The other three were of the No effing way persuasion.
I’m going to sleep on it.