As genomic science has evolved, so have policy and practice debates about how to describe and evaluate the ways in which genomic information is treated for individuals, institutions, and society. The term genetic exceptionalism, describing the concept that genetic information is special or unique, and specifically different from other kinds of medical information, has been utilized widely, but often counterproductively in these debates. We offer genomic contextualism as a new term to frame the characteristics of genomic science in the debates. (...) Using stasis theory to draw out the important connection between definitional issues and resulting policies, we argue that the framework of genomic contextualism is better suited to evaluating genomics and its policy-relevant features to arrive at more productive discussion and resolve policy debates. (shrink)
Rare genetic diseases collectively impact millions of individuals in the United States. These patients and their families share many challenges including delayed diagnosis, lack of knowledgeable providers, and limited economic incentives to develop new therapies for small patient groups. As such, rare disease patients and families often must rely on advocacy, including both self-advocacy to access clinical care and public advocacy to advance research. However, these demands raise serious concerns for equity, as both care and research for a given disease (...) can depend on the education, financial resources, and social capital available to the patients in a given community. In this article, we utilize three case examples to illustrate ethical challenges at the intersection of rare diseases, advocacy and justice, including how reliance on advocacy in rare disease may drive unintended consequences for equity. We conclude with a discussion of opportunities for diverse stakeholders to begin to address these challenges. (shrink)
As sharing and secondary research use of biospecimens increases, IRBs and researchers face the challenge of protecting and respecting donors without comprehensive regulations addressing the human subject protection issues posed by biobanking. Variation in IRB biobanking policies about these issues has not been well documented.
This article provides practical guidance for researchers who wish to enroll and collect data from pediatric research participants through online and mobile platforms, with a focus on the involvement of both children and their parents in the decision to participate.
There may be compelling reasons to return to parents a limited subset of results from research conducted using residual newborn screening dried blood samples. This article explores the circumstances under which research results might be returned, as well as the mechanisms by which state newborn screening programs might facilitate the return of research results. The scope of any responsibility to return results of research conducted using DBS should be assessed in light of the potential impact on the primary mission of (...) state newborn screening programs. (shrink)