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Psychiatric Molecular Genetics and the Ethics of Social Promises

Abstract

A recent literature review of commentaries and ‘state of the art’ articles from researchers in psychiatric genetics (PMG) offers a consensus about progress in the science of genetics, disappointments in the discovery of new and effective treatments, and a general optimism about the future of the field. I argue that optimism for the field of psychiatric molecular genetics (PMG) is overwrought, and consider progress in the field in reference to a sample estimate of US National Institute of Mental Health funding for this paradigm for the years 2008 and 2009. I conclude that the amounts of financial investment in PMG is questionable from an ethical perspective, given other research and clinical needs in the USA.

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Correspondence to John Z. Sadler.

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Sadler, J.Z. Psychiatric Molecular Genetics and the Ethics of Social Promises. Bioethical Inquiry 8, 27–34 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11673-010-9273-z

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Keywords

  • Psychiatry
  • Mental disorders
  • Molecular genetics
  • Ethics