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Soc Sci Med. 1992 Aug;35(4):495-505.

Ethical and legal implications of the new genetics: issues for discussion.

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  • 1Department of Social Science, Ethics and Law, Shriver Center for Mental Retardation, Waltham, MA 02254.


The so-called 'new genetics,' a phrase sometimes associated with The Human Genome Initiative, poses no really new ethical problems, but exacerbates old ones. The issues of most concern to geneticists and their patients are summarized under the eleven headings below. These issues emerged from a 19-nation study of ethics and genetics in 1985-86 and from preliminary work on a forthcoming 36-nation study by the same authors.

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