From Genetics to Genomics and Beyond

  • Dorothy C. Wertz
  • John C. Fletcher
Part of the International Library of Ethics, Law, and the New Medicine book series (LIME, volume 17)


This chapter discusses a cluster of changes and other issues in the transition from genetics to “genomics” and “proteonomics.” When the first survey was completed in 1985, direct DNA testing was in an experimental stage. Older interactions between genetics and society are in the process of rapid change, especially in affluent nations. At its start and finish (1990–2001), the Human Genome Project (HGP) evoked competing metaphors to convey its impact on society. Alongside praise for the HGP, misplaced hopes, misunderstanding, and mistrust obstruct integration of genetic discoveries into mainstream medicine. If physicians are to use these discoveries in practice, traditional medical ethics needs to refit its “ship of morality” (Benjamin, 2003, 112) for more turbulent seas. Would a code of ethics help the world's geneticists earn more public trust? Or is there a more practical way?


Ethical Issue Primary Care Physician Huntington Disease Turner Syndrome Genetic Service 
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 Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dorothy C. Wertz
    • 1
  • John C. Fletcher
    • 2
  1. 1.University of Massachusetts Medical School and Shriver CenterWalthamUSA
  2. 2.University of Virginia School of MedicineCharlottesvilleUSA

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