Genetic testing in the workplace holds the promise of improving worker health but also raises ethical, legal, and social issues. In considering such testing, it is critical to understand the perspectives of workers, who are most directly affected by it, and occupational health professionals, who are often directly involved in its implementation. Therefore, a series of focus groups of unionized workers (n=25) and occupational medicine physicians (n=23) was conducted. The results demonstrated strikingly different perspectives of workers and physicians in several key areas, including the goals and appropriateness of genetic testing, and methods to minimize its risks. In general, workers were guided by a profound mistrust of the employer, physician, and government, while physicians were guided primarily by scientific and medical concerns, and, in many cases, by the business concerns distrusted by the workers.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis