Ethical Challenges in Genomics Research: A Guide to by Paula Boddington

By Paula Boddington

New advancements in technological know-how and know-how have led to moving moral demanding situations in lots of components together with in genomics study. This booklet allows people who are inquisitive about genomics learn, no matter if as researcher, player or coverage maker, to appreciate the moral concerns presently constructing during this box and to take part actively in those very important debates. a transparent account is given of the way technological know-how and expertise are outstripping the means of prior moral rules to deal with present concerns, including sensible illustrations of attainable methods ahead. Key moral principles are awarded, drawing at the historical past of analysis law and on an account of the actual demanding situations bobbing up within the box of genomics. The e-book makes use of a grounded, sensible method of explaining moral recommendations and matters that's geared to bettering interdisciplinary discussion. Its huge method of moral concerns comprises appropriate concerns from social psychology and there's a specific emphasis on figuring out the issues of moral laws and perform within the institutional and social context of study. A word list and diverse textual content bins explaining correct phrases and key principles aid to make the paintings a useful source for either newbies and specialists within the field.

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Contemporary discussions of ethical issues in genetics often make specific reference to eugenics and to the practices of Nazi Germany – again often highlighting this one case – and in addition may specifically take steps to differentiate activities that might otherwise be seen to bear certain parallels to those of the past. For example: To avoid past abuses of genetics as exemplified by Nazi Germany, there is a desire in many countries to ensure that decisions to terminate an abnormal pregnancy are well-informed but not influenced by the view of others, particularly the state or other official bodies.

But there are many situations where researchers have acted in ways that go beyond what is strictly required of them. To use a technical term from philosophy and theology, to go over and above the call of duty is to perform an act of supererogation. Such cases also amply show how ethics in research is not to be simply equated with the requirements of ethics regulation (see Chap. 3). For example, a former colleague had ethics approval for a project that involved contacting individuals with a certain diagnosis of a genetic condition from records of a hospital department.

A man of facts and calculations. . With a rule and a pair of scales, and the multiplication table always in his pocket, sir, ready to weigh and measure any parcel of human nature, and tell you exactly what it comes to. It is a mere question of figures, a case of simple arithmetic” (Dickens 2009). The dangers of an unfettered “objectivity” are expressed again here in relation to Nazi practices: “Scientists espouse objectivity and spurn value judgements. But pure objectivity leads to regarding everything as feasible.

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