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Should Consumers Be Allowed to Order Their Own Lab Tests?

A growing number of Americans are taking control of their medical information, obtaining electronic records from their health-care providers so they can more easily keep track of their care and discuss it with their doctors.

But originating health information through lab tests is still mostly under the control of doctors. Aside from a few tests that can be done at home, like those for pregnancy or HIV infection, lab tests typically require a doctor’s order.

Some consumer advocates want to change that, arguing that people have a right to decide what information they want about their health—and how to act on it—without the expense and…

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Last Updated : Thursday, November 19, 2020