Genomics: the implications for ethics and education

Thomas, Sandy M (1999) Genomics: the implications for ethics and education. British Medical Bulletin, 55 (2). pp. 429-445. ISSN 0007-1420

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Over the past 10 years, the identification of disease genes has been expanding rapidly. Those identified in the earlier part of the decade were largely achieved through positional cloning and the majority are for relatively rare disorders which involve single genes. As the Human Genome Mapping Project has progressed, the rate of gene discovery has increased substantially through the development of new DNA sequencing techniques and in silico approaches. The human genome will have been largely sequenced by ther Spring 2000. We can expect the identification of large numbers of susceptibility genes for common multifactorial polygenic diseases as well as genes which are associated with human behavioural traits. Some of these advances hold out the prospects of real progress in the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of disorders. However, for many individuals, increased knowledge about their genes will present ethical dilemmas which are difficult to resolve. There are also wider ethical issues which concern the use of genetic information by insurers and employers and yet others which concern ownership and access. In this chapter, the main ethical issues raised by the impact of genomics on helthcare are discussed. The role of education in enabling individuals and health professionals to meet these challenges is also considered.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Business, Management and Economics > SPRU - Science Policy Research Unit
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Depositing User: Sandra Mary Thomas
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 18:45
Last Modified: 24 Sep 2012 09:41
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