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Genetics and Ethics in Global Perspective

by Dorothy C. Wertz, John C. Fletcher

Publisher: Springer
Publication Date: Monday, December 20, 2004
Number of Pages: 476
ISBN: 1402028806


Book Summary:
Dorothy Wertz and John Fletcher pioneered the first international study of ethical and social issues in genetics in 18 nations. This book reports and discusses their second and more representative study in 36 nations. The survey focused on actual situations that occur in the practice of medical genetics, presented as case vignettes that can also be used in teaching and policy discussion. Among the issues discussed are privacy, prenatal diagnosis, patient autonomy, directiveness in counseling, sex selection, forensic DNA banking, "genetic discrimination," and "eugenics". This is Dorothy Wertz's final book, as she died in April, 2003. It is a one of a kind cross-cultural study of complex ethical issues in the uses of genetic information. No one else has attempted to look at the international aspects of medical genetics on such a broad scale. The results provide a resource for discussion both within and among nations. Much bioethical and policy discussion now occurs in an information vacuum. The survey showed that what people would do, and their reasons for doing it, differed considerably from what ethicists think they "should" do. Many will be surprised at the results, especially in nations where bioethical discussion is just beginning. Genetics and Ethics in Global Perspective is of interest to medical geneticists, genetic counselors, social scientists and anthropologists who study cross-cultural issues, bioethicists and bioethics centers and health policy makers.


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