Involving Study Populations in the Review of Genetic Research

Journal of Law, Medicine and Ethics 28 (1):41-51 (2000)
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Abstract

Research on human genetic variation can present collective risks to all members of a socially identifiable group. Research that associates race or ethnicity with a genetic disposition to disease, for example, presents risks of group discrimination and stigmatization. To better protect against these risks, some have proposed supplemental community-based reviews of research on genetic differences between populations. The assumption behind these appeals is that involving members of study populations in the review process can help to identify and minimize collective risks that otherwise could go unnoticed. In contrast to this position, critics have argued that supplemental community-based reviews are unnecessary, impractical, and morally problematic. This paper is our attempt to advance this debate by distinguishing the various goals of community review and the forms that it can take.

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