Personalized medicine gives rise to new ethical questions

We stand at a great crossroads. We have begun to treat cancers arising from disparate organs in like ways as we discover shared oncogenic mechanisms.

However, the exciting new vistas in cancer treatment that are opening before us are accompanied by a host of new, sometimes vexing ethical questions.

The risks to privacy and informed consent vary greatly. Gene profiling of variation in drug metabolism may represent very low-risk genetic information. On the other hand, diagnostic information about intractable, hereditary genetic disease falls at the other end of the spectrum of risk. Consent for diagnosis of the “riskiest” situations probably requires full genetic counseling and high-level privacy protections.

Are we prepared to handle such increased complexity of clinical interaction around informed consent processes?

Read the full, original story here: Personalized Medicine Gives Rise to New Ethical Questions

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