Respect for Persons in Research and in Genetics

  • Paula Boddington


This chapter examines a central concept in ethics, that of respect for persons. This notion is widely used but understood in loose, varying, and sometimes inconsistent ways. Common ways of understanding the notion of respect for persons are explored and philosophical discussion of respect for persons is introduced, including the account given by Immanuel Kant. The scope of any imperative to show respect for persons is examined, together with its relation to personal information. The debate about the feedback of findings in genomics research is used as an illustration of how the notion of respect for persons has been used to produce practical ethical conclusions. However, a close examination of the literature shows how varying notions of respect are elided and how unwarranted conclusions may be drawn. Conclusions drawn include the need for careful elaboration of the notion of respect for persons, and the need to examine the evidential and argumentative support for a position.


Research Participant Genomic Research Personal Health Information Positive Duty Ethical Duty 
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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