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Genetic screening programs for susceptibility to disease in Denmark

Bitsch, Lise (2008) Genetic screening programs for susceptibility to disease in Denmark.

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Abstract:Denmark is, with its extensive public healthcare system, the object of study. In Denmark, genetic technologies, as a means of preventing disease and improving on the health of the population, have been discussed in a variety of ministerial reports as a possibility in future scenario’s of the healthcare sector. Internationally developments in genetics have been coupled with an agenda of ‘Public Health Genomics’ a term including not only genetic disciplines, but also disciplines of population sciences, humanities and social sciences. One specific application of genetic technologies could be genetic screening programs for susceptibility to disease. No such screening programs, are as of yet, in operation in Denmark. In this report it is speculated that such a development would entail the combination of the two disciplines of screening and clinical genetics – two disciplines which are embedded in the Danish healthcare sector and which operate with their own goals as well as ‘rules of behaviour’. With screening the goal is one of early detection of disease and thereby possibly preventing the outbreak of disease, while clinical genetics has the goal of providing individuals with genetic knowledge through the golden rule of non-directive counselling. Both disciplines however also have a history of provoking debate and as being associated with serious ethical issues. A new discipline of genetic screening programs for susceptibility to disease would embody the same moral issues as screening and clinical genetics to a larger or lesser extent. Thus genetic technologies in the shape of genetic screening programs for susceptibility to disease develop in interaction with societal or more specifically moral elements connected to specific practices.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:08 philosophy
Programme:Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society MSc (60024)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/59314
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