Group risks, risks to groups, and group engagement in genetics research

Kennedy Inst Ethics J. 2007 Dec;17(4):351-69. doi: 10.1353/ken.2008.0009.


This essay distinguishes between two kinds of group harms: harms to individuals in virtue of their membership in groups and harms to "structured" groups that have a continuing existence, an organization, and interests of their own. Genetic research creates risks of causing both kinds of group harms, and engagement with the groups at risk can help to mitigate those harms. The two kinds of group harms call for different kinds of group engagement.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Ethics, Research
  • Genetic Research / ethics*
  • Humans
  • Population Groups*
  • Research Subjects*
  • Risk
  • Vulnerable Populations*