William & Mary Law Review

Article Title

Genetic Duties


Most of our genetic information does not change, yet the results of our genetic tests might. Labs reclassify genetic variants in response to advances in genetic science. As a result, a person who took a test in 2010 could take the same test with the same lab in 2020 and get a different result. However, no legal duty requires labs or physicians to inform patients when a lab reclassifies a variant, even if the reclassification communicates clinically actionable information. This Article considers the need for such duties and their potential challenges. In so doing, it offers much-needed guidance to physicians and labs, who may face liability, and to courts, which will hear these cases.