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Our panel of 88 professional philosophers has responded to

Question of the day

I must admit to some confusion about the assumptions behind your question: I'm not a medical doctor, but except in rare cases, having the genetic predisposition to the cancer doesn't guarantee you'll develop it. So getting the test and (potentially) learning you have the predisposition doesn't require that you "accept whatever is going to happen," i.e., resigning yourself to the cancer. The question of whether you should seek out this knowledge is distinct from what you might do with (or without!) that knowledge. In fact, it may make more sense to try to minimize your risk of developing the cancer through your lifestyle choices if you did find out you have the predisposition. Then you're dealing with a known risk instead of merely a hypothetical one. But knowing your situation and how you respond to that knowledge (or lack thereof) present different issues.

On the other side, why will you siblings be unhappy if you opt not to get the test?I'm skeptical that they have a moral right that you get the test. But is their concern moral -- that somehow you owe it to them to be tested? Or prudential, that you'd be unwise not to get the test? Before I made any choice on the matter, I'd ask them to be clearer about the source of their puzzlement or anger.