Genetic Information

Acquisition, Access, and Control

  • Alison K. Thompson
  • Ruth F. Chadwick

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Eugenics

    1. Daniel Wikler
      Pages 1-16
    2. Helga Kuhse
      Pages 17-30
  3. Genetics and Insurance

    1. Trudo Lemmens
      Pages 31-39
    2. Robert N. Mayer, Ken R. Smith, Cathleen D. Zick, Jeffrey R. Botkin
      Pages 41-56
    3. Ken R. Smith, Cathleen D. Zick, Robert N. Mayer, Jeffrey R. Botkin
      Pages 57-70
    4. Martin Johnston
      Pages 79-84
  4. The Commercialization of Genetic Information

  5. Public Awareness

    1. Kris Dierickx
      Pages 175-182
    2. Ros Bramwell, Susan Wade
      Pages 183-190
    3. Rachel Iredale, Marcus Longley
      Pages 191-199
    4. Joan Stephenson
      Pages 201-205

About this book


It is difficult to think of an example of an advancement in the biological sciences that has had an impact on society similar to that of the new genetics. Recent developments in biotechnology have occasioned much discussion among academics, professionals, and lay people alike. In particular, many questions and concerns have arisen over the acquisi­ tion, access, and control of genetic information. There are several reasons why the new genetics has commanded such widespread attention, and why it is now the subject of con­ siderable debate. Special reference is given in this volume to the implications of genetic information for five different subject areas: eugenics, the insurance industry, the commer­ cialisation of genetic testing, strategies for raising public awareness, and the value of theo­ retical ethical and sociological frameworks in the debate. This diverse collection of papers attempts to address and critically discuss issues surrounding the control of, and access to, genetic information from ethical, medical, legal, and theoretical points of view. The first and shortest section of the book attempts to address concerns over the eugenic potential of new biotechnologies. It also provides a historical context for the de­ bate, for controversy over the subject of eugenics predates the current debate over genetic information by a considerable length of time. Indeed, by the time the first patent was is­ sued for Chakrabarty's strain of oil eating bacteria in the early 1970s, the term eugenics had already acquired strong pejorative connotations.


Eugenics bioinformatics ethics gene therapy genes genetics health screening

Editors and affiliations

  • Alison K. Thompson
    • 1
  • Ruth F. Chadwick
    • 2
  1. 1.University of TorontoTorontoCanada
  2. 2.University of Central Lancashire PrestonUK

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers 1999
  • Publisher Name Springer, Boston, MA
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-0-306-46052-4
  • Online ISBN 978-0-585-34586-4
  • About this book