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Genetics Research International
Volume 2012, Article ID 946032, 6 pages
Review Article

Adolescents, Graduated Autonomy, and Genetic Testing

152 Paradise Rd., Golden, Colorado 80401, USA

Received 8 August 2011; Revised 14 November 2011; Accepted 11 December 2011

Academic Editor: Andrea Vicini

Copyright © 2012 Susan Fox. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Autonomy takes many shapes. The concept of “graduated autonomy” is conceived as comprising several unique features: (1) it is incremental, (2) it is proportional, and (3) it is related to the telos of the life stage during which it occurs. This paper focuses on graduated autonomy in the context of genetic testing during adolescence. Questions can be raised about other life stages as well, and some of these questions will be addressed by discussing a possible fourth characteristic of graduated autonomy, that is, its elasticity. Further scholarship and analysis is needed to refine the concept of graduated autonomy and examine its applications.