Journal of Medical Ethics 47 (12):12-12 (2021)

Authors
Abstract
Advances in genetic diagnostics lead to more patients being diagnosed with hereditary conditions. These findings are often relevant to patients’ relatives. For example, the success of targeted cancer prevention is dependent on effective disclosure to relatives at risk. Without clear information, individuals cannot take advantage of predictive testing and preventive measures. Against this background, we argue that healthcare professionals have a duty to make actionable genetic information available to their patients’ at-risk relatives. We do not try to settle the difficult question of how this duty should be balanced against other duties, such as the duty of confidentiality and a possible duty not to know one’s genetic predisposition. Instead, we argue for the importance of recognising a general responsibility towards at-risk relatives, to be discharged as well as possible within the limits set by conflicting duties and practical considerations. According to a traditional and still dominant perspective, it is the patient’s duty to inform his or her relatives, while healthcare professionals are only obliged to support their patients in discharging this duty. We argue that this perspective is a mistake and an anomaly. Healthcare professionals do not have a duty to ensure that their patients promote the health of third parties. It is often effective and desirable to engage patients in disseminating information to their relatives. However, healthcare professionals should not thereby deflect their own moral responsibility. There are no data in this work.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1136/medethics-2020-106236
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 64,261
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Famine, Affluence, and Morality.Peter Singer - 1972 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 1 (3):229-243.
Rescuing the Duty to Rescue.Tina Rulli & Joseph Millum - 2014 - Journal of Medical Ethics:1-5.
The Right Not to Know: An Autonomy Based Approach.R. Andorno - 2004 - Journal of Medical Ethics 30 (5):435-439.
Rescuing the Duty to Rescue.Tina Rulli & Joseph Millum - 2016 - Journal of Medical Ethics 42 (4):260-264.

View all 10 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Right Not to Know and the Duty to Tell: The Case of Relatives.Niklas Juth - 2014 - Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 42 (1):38-52.
Caring for Risky Patients: Duty or Virtue?T. Tomlinson - 2008 - Journal of Medical Ethics 34 (6):458-462.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2020-11-28

Total views
7 ( #1,044,296 of 2,455,887 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
3 ( #225,744 of 2,455,887 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes