Genetic secrets and the family

Bell, Dean & Bennett, Belinda (2001) Genetic secrets and the family. Medical Law Review, 9(2), pp. 130-161.

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The issue of how individual patients and their doctors should act in relation to the knowledge that the patient has a genetic condition— specifically, whether the patient and/or the doctor should or must inform relevant members of the patient’s family—is a looming area of medicolegal controversy. Over the last fifteen years or so, the issue of confidentiality versus disclosure has been particularly controversial in relation to HIV/AIDS patients.1 It has been argued that medical information about genetic disease gives rise to special problems vis-à-vis blood relatives. Because genetic disease is transmitted only by way of procreation, information about genetic disease is unique in that there is a propensity (which is highly variable and depends upon a variety of factors) for the condition to be shared by members of a family who are biologically related. Thus, genetic information about an individual may reveal information about relatives of that individual which is ‘specific (that the person has or will develop a genetic disease); or predictive (that the person has an unspecified risk of developing the disease)’

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ID Code: 71267
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
DOI: 10.1093/medlaw/9.2.130
ISSN: 0967-0742
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Law
Current > Research Centres > Australian Centre for Health Law Research
Current > Schools > School of Law
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2001 Oxford University Press
Deposited On: 09 May 2014 00:01
Last Modified: 04 Feb 2015 05:40

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