Social-science perspectives on bioethics: Predictive Genetic Testing (PGT) in Asia

Sleeboom-Faulkner, Margaret (2007) Social-science perspectives on bioethics: Predictive Genetic Testing (PGT) in Asia. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry, 4 (3). pp. 197-206. ISSN 1176-7529

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In this essay, I indicate how social-science approaches can throw light on predictive genetic testing (PGT) in various societal contexts. In the first section, I discuss definitions of various forms of PGT, and point out their inherent ambiguity and inappropriateness when taken out of an ideal-typical context. In section two, I argue further that an ethics approach proceeding from the point of view of the abstract individual in a given society should be supplemented by an approach that regards bioethics as inherently ambiguous, contested, changeable and context-dependent. In the last section, I place these bioethical discussions of PGT in the context of Asian communities. Here, a critical view of what constitutes a community and culture proves necessary to understand the role of bioethical debates and the empirical manifestations of PGT in Asian societies. A discussion of the concepts of family and kinship in relation to PGT indicates that any bioethical analysis has to take into account that bioethical values are not just reflections of a cultural community, but embody both bioethical ideals and prevalent political rhetoric which is exhibited, propagated and manipulated by individuals and collectives for a variety of purposes. I end by summarising the contributions that social science could make to the understanding of the bioethics of PGT.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Global Studies > Anthropology
Depositing User: Margaret Sleeboom-Faulkner
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 15:06
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2013 14:44
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