I made my genome publicly available a little while ago. I also posted my results from 23andMe. A lot of people are worried about their medical information being used against them to deny jobs or insurance.
In fact, there are a huge number of people working in the field of health information privacy. With an increased push for electronic medical records, that number is growing.
So why did I share my genetic information?
First, DNA isn’t destiny. A person’s environment can have a major impact on a variety of health and life outcomes – hence the study of epigenetics.
Second, I figured via a cost-benefit analysis that the situation was a toss up with about equal probabilities of getting denied a job (on the negative side) or positioning myself as an early adopter in the soon-to-be trillion dollar industry of personalized medicine (on the positive side).
Third, I wanted to get other people excited about personalized medicine. In the chance that someone has a genetic predisposition to a certain disorder, it would be good to find that out early on and start monitoring for it and treating it aggressively.
Fourth, Congress passed the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act in 2008, which limits insurance and employment discrimination based on genetics.
Fifth, Sometimes it just feels good to go against conventional wisdom.