Communicating genetic information in the family: enriching the debate through the notion of integrity [Book Review]

Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 11 (4):445-454 (2008)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Genetic information about one individual often has medical and reproductive implications for that individual’s relatives. There is a debate about whether policy on transmitting genetic information within the family should change to reflect this shared aspect of genetic information. Even if laws on medical confidentiality remain unchanged, there still remains the question of professional practice and whether, to what extent and by what means professionals should encourage disclosure within a family. The debate so far has tended to focus on who has a right to genetic information, or has a right to decline genetic information, frequently drawing on the notion of individual autonomy. There are significant divergences within this debate, and difficulties with the use of autonomy in this context have been noted. This paper draws on theoretical considerations as well as on qualitative empirical data to show that shifting from talk of autonomy to talk of integrity will greatly enrich and illuminate the issues. It becomes possible to gain deeper insights into the ethical significance of the timing and the manner of such communication, the character of recipients of knowledge, and the nuanced nature of communication and different levels of understanding within a family



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,038

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Is there a duty to share genetic information?S. Matthew Liao - 2009 - Journal of Medical Ethics 35 (5):306-309.
Is there a duty to remain in ignorance?Iain Brassington - 2011 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 32 (2):101-115.
Familial Communication of Research Results: A Need to Know?Lee Black & Kelly A. McClellan - 2011 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 39 (4):605-613.
Genetic information: Important but not “exceptional”. [REVIEW]Ruth Hannah Wilkinson - 2010 - Identity in the Information Society 3 (3):457-472.
The family covenant and genetic testing.David J. Doukas & Jessica W. Berg - 2001 - American Journal of Bioethics 1 (3):2 – 10.
Genetic Information in the Age of Genohype.Péter Kakuk - 2006 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 9 (3):325-337.
The nature and significance of behavioural genetic information.Ainsley Newson - 2004 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 25 (2):89-111.
Property rights in genetic information.Richard A. Spinello - 2004 - Ethics and Information Technology 6 (1):29-42.


Added to PP

19 (#800,531)

6 months
5 (#641,756)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Paula Boddington
University of Oxford

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Principles of biomedical ethics.Tom L. Beauchamp - 1983 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by James F. Childress.
Self-Deception.Herbert Fingarette - 1969 - Humanities Press.
Perspectives on Self-Deception.Brian P. McLaughlin & Amélie Oksenberg Rorty (eds.) - 1988 - University of California Press.
Law and medical ethics.J. K. Mason - 1991 - London: LexisNexis UK. Edited by Alexander McCall Smith & G. T. Laurie.

View all 24 references / Add more references