How early is too early to find out you've got an incurable disease?

We're getting better at diagnosing diseases, such as Alzheimer's, that still have no cure. But as diagnoses creep forward, we're left facing a new set of ethical dilemmas - journalist Sanjana Varghese got Richard's input to this issue
5th February 2019

Excerpt from articler:

"Would people want to know that they are at risk of developing a neurodegenerative disease for which there is currently no cure? 

'A lot of the questions that come up around prediction, related to the right to know or not to know, have previously come up in discussions of genetic testing,' says Richard Milne, a sociologist who researches medicine and ethics at the University of Cambridge. 'Ethically, the main consideration is that many people say this is information they want to know, and that it may help them make plans for the future. But there’s a risk of causing harm, as you’re potentially telling people they’re at increased risk of a disease that you’re not sure how to prevent, and the prediction is currently uncertain.'”


Varghese S (2019) Quotes from Richard Milne. ‘How early is too early to find out you’ve got an incurable disease?’ WIRED. 5 February. Available at: 13 June 2019]