In order for genetic testing to be used safely and appropriately, these issues should be discussed with patients so that they are aware of risks and benefits. This chapter provides a brief overview of some of the major ELSI concerns related to genetic testing. Several concerns have arisen regarding the use and potential misuse of genetic information. Genetic information may differ from other health information because of its long-term implications for an individual and his or her family.
Abstract The field of behavioral genetics has engendered a host of moral and social concerns virtually since its inception.
The policy implications of a genetic basis for behaviors are widespread and extend beyond the clinic to the socially important realms of education, criminal justice, childbearing, and child rearing.
The development of new techniques and analytic approaches, including whole-genome sequencing, noninvasive prenatal genetic testing, and optogenetics, has clearly changed the study of behavioral genetics.
However, the social context of biomedical research has also changed profoundly over the past few decades, and in ways that are especially relevant to behavioral genetics.
The ever-widening scope of behavioral genetics raises ethical, legal, social, and policy issues in the potential new applications to criminal justice, education, the military, and reproduction. These issues are especially critical to address because of their potentially disproportionate effects on vulnerable populations such as children, the unborn, and the incarcerated.
Although many of these concerns are not unique to behavioral genetics, or even to genetics, there are still good reasons to be aware of them. Our society has been willing to use scientific as well as pseudoscientific information to control individuals who are perceived to be socially deviant or problematic.
In addition, genetic determinism and scientific illiteracy make information about the genetic basis of behaviors at once potentially powerful and dangerous, especially with the advent of new genetic technologies and research findings.
Behavioral genetics has been and continues to be interpreted through the lens of several different fallacies that have important policy implications. The corollary to this fallacy is that biological inequality justifies social inequality or unequal treatment Such biological explanations for behavior facilitate problematizing individuals rather than social policy or environmental factors On the flip side, behavioral genetics is also subject to the naturalistic fallacy, the appeal to the goodness of nature—if it is natural, it must be good Optimists have fallen prey to the hope that if behaviors such as homosexuality or mental illnesses are found to have a genetic cause, they will be destigmatized 23 Recent studies suggest that many people with psychiatric disorders, their physicians, and behavioral genetics researchers believe that genetic explanations for mental illness will diminish stigma and discrimination 40 These fallacies still hold sway, and changes in the social context of behavioral genetics, which we discuss below, may exacerbate their impact.
Furthermore, our increased understanding of the enormous complexity of behavioral genetics may also act to reduce our genetic deterministic impulses.
In this article, we discuss major ethical, legal, social, and policy issues related to behavioral genetics: For the purposes of this article, we define behavior broadly, as the actions and responses of an organism to its environment 17including not only processes that involve muscular activity and the movement of individuals—the definition typically used in ethology —but also cognitive processes.
We define behavioral genetics as research that strives to understand the genetic basis of behavior, whether through twin, family, or population studies; linkage studies; or genome sequencing. Although deeply flawed, the science behind eugenics is the foundation for the modern-day study of behavioral genetics 63 Thus, although the bulk of the eugenics movement occurred almost a century ago, the ethical implications and observations brought by the behavioral science and resulting social movement of that time are pertinent in providing insight into why examining the ethics of behavioral genetics is still important today.
From its beginnings, eugenics was concerned with socially relevant behaviors and differences, and the social traits that were identified as genetic included criminality, insanity, racial differences, and different levels of intelligence, ranging from genius to feeblemindedness 4.Ethical Considerations of Genetic Research, Therapy & Technology We will discuss ethical considerations of genetic research, therapy, and technology.
Ethical Considerations of Genetic.
A list of resources on the policy and ethics issues related to genetic research, published by the National Human Genome Research Institute.
Skip to main content Ethical, Legal and Social Issues in Genomic Medicine. Chapter 8 Ethical, Legal, and Social Issues Over the past decade, many ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) associated with genetic testing and research have been raised.
In order for genetic testing to be used safely and appropriately, these issues should be discussed with patients so that they are aware of risks and benefits. The moral model of addiction, a psycho-social explanation of addiction that led to stigma and intolerance, kept many people from seeking help.
The disease model has proven to be the correct model to develop true innovations in addiction treatment. The Ethical Implications of Human Cloning genetic engineering,we need to confront questions largely lost from view in the cell research, we need to determine the moral status of the early embryo.
If the six-day, pre-implantation embryo (or blastocyst) is morally equivalent to a per-. Moral Development. This entry analyzes moral development as a perennial philosophical view complemented by modern empirical research programs. The two initial sections summarize what moral development is and why it is important for ethics and human nature theory.