The Ethics Blog

A blog from the Centre for Research Ethics & Bioethics (CRB)

Tag: genetics (Page 1 of 4)

Ethical issues when gene editing approaches humanity

Gene editing technology, which already is used to develop genetically modified organisms (GMOs), could in the future also be used clinically in humans. One such application could be genetic modification of human embryos, editing genes that would otherwise cause disease. Of course, the scenario of ​​clinical uses of genetic modification in humans arouses deep concern […]

Who belongs to us?

Bioethics has a problem with human beings, the philosopher Roland Kipke writes. It must ask who belongs to our moral community. Who has rights? Who has human dignity? Who has the moral status usually attributed to healthy adult humans? Who has the right to life? The question is: Who belongs to us? Are human embryos […]

Bioethics without doctrines

Ever since this blog started, I have regularly described how bioethical discussions often are driven by our own psychology. On the surface, the debates appear to be purely rational investigations of the truthfulness of certain claims. The claims may be about the risks of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), the private nature of genetic information, the […]

Learning from the difficulties

In popular scientific literature, research can sometimes appear deceptively simple: “In the past, people believed that … But when researchers looked more closely, they found that …” It may seem as if researchers need not do much more than visit archives or laboratories. There, they take a closer look at things and discover amazing results. […]

How about personally optimized treatment?

It is well known that patients who are asked to participate in cancer trials are tempted by the therapeutic misconception. They believe they are offered a newer and better treatment, when in fact it is about research into an untested treatment. When researchers use genetic tests to develop personalized oncology, even more misconceptions can arise. […]

Genetic risk information: lines and stage directions

Outside of their practical contexts, simple messages quickly lose their meaning. Recall what it is like to find an old Post-it Note: “Don’t forget the disk!” – What disk? The risk is great that we invent a context. Incomprehensible messages awaken our imagination. Similarly, messages about genetic risk need practical contexts that make the information […]

Genetic risk entails genetic responsibility

Intellectual optimists have seen genetic risk information as a human victory over nature. The information gives us power over our future health. What previously would have been our fate, genetics now transforms into matters of personal choice. Reality, however, is not as rosy as in this dream of intellectual power over life. Where there is […]

Why do we pay for genetic information that we do not use?

About half a million people around the world have purchased direct-to-consumer genetic tests. A large majority say that they are willing to pay for the genetic information, even if the results do not reveal anything of clinical value. If so, why do they want to buy genetic information about themselves? Many say they want health-relevant […]

Swedish policymakers on genetic screening before pregnancy

Some genetic diseases do not develop in  the child unless both parents happen to have the same gene. Parents can be healthy and unaware that they have the same non-dominant disease gene. In these cases, the risk that their child develops the disease is 25 percent. Preconception expanded carrier screening could be offered to entire […]

Risks of discrimination in population-based biobanks

Even good intentions can cause harm. Considerately treating certain groups as “vulnerable,” such as pregnant women and children, can cause discrimination against them. If we protect them from participation in clinical research, we know less about how they respond to medical treatments. They are therefore exposed to greater risks when they are patients in need […]

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