An Overview of Research Ethics and Challenges from Genomics

  • Paula Boddington


This chapter examines how the traditional basis of research ethics with its foundations in clinical research may not fit the case of genomics research. In particular, the risk of informational harm is a relevant feature of much genomics research that contributes towards many of the characteristic ethical issues in genomics research. Issues also arise when research is carried out in large networks and over lengthy time periods. Some particular key issues that present especially difficulties include: informed consent for individuals, families, and populations; withdrawal from research; confidentiality and privacy; feedback of findings; benefit sharing; ancestry and “race”; and issues arising in public health genomics. Parallels with issues in social science research, which may be helpful for the case of genomics research, are outlined, and the relation between technology and ethics is briefly discussed. Problems with encoding ethics in rules and regulations are also introduced.


Ethical Issue Population Group Genomic Research Genomic Information Social Science Research 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Somerville CollegeOxford UniversityOxfordUK

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