Reprogenetics and pharmacogenetics: in whose best interests?
Medicine and Law: World Association for Medical Law 2005 June; 24(2): 343-354
Reprogenetics involves embryonic pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, provoking controversy over the creation of saviour siblings, eugenics and genetic enhancement. It will soon ascertain pharmacogenetic susceptibilities. Pharmacogenetics impacts upon public health initiatives underpinned by resource allocation constraints in that genetic epidemiological studies assist in administering health care resources and public health strategies. Knowing how likely sections of the population are to develop specific medical conditions so that lifestyle and environmental factors influencing these conditions can be targeted has the potential to save public money and improve public health. Aligning population groups with genetic susceptibilities with specific medications would enable cost-effective prescribing. Reprogenetics and pharmacogenetics also possess great commercial potential for nation states and biotechnology companies. Hence ethical legal safeguards for members of the public whose reproductive or genetic tissue is a research or health care resource are essential. Both legal measures such as informed consent and mechanisms for including the public in policy decisions over reprogenetics and pharmacogenetics must be rethought to ensure that they provide protection rather than function as rubber stamps which preclude deeper inquiry into justifications of projects.
Biotechnology; Consent; Diagnosis; Eugenics; Genetic Enhancement; Health; Health Care; Informed Consent; Lifestyle; Pharmacogenetics; Population Groups; Public Health; Research; Resource Allocation; Siblings; Drugs and Drug Industry; Genetics, Molecular Biology and Microbiology; Genetic Counseling / Prenatal Diagnosis; Social Control of Human Experimentation;
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