Disability and genetics in the era of genomic medicine

Nat Rev Genet. 2008 Oct;9(10):797-802. doi: 10.1038/nrg2453.


Genomic medicine offers a growing number of methods to diagnose, cure or prevent disability. Although many disabled people welcome these advances, others have reservations about the impact of genetic knowledge on disabled people's lives, arguing that genetic science might exacerbate the deep ambivalence that society as a whole has towards physical difference and anomaly. It is also possible, however, that being able to specify the genetic bases of disability, and distinguish them from other causative factors, will contribute to a fuller understanding of disability and a better response to disabled people.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Disabled Persons / psychology*
  • Eugenics / methods
  • Eugenics / trends
  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn / diagnosis*
  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn / genetics*
  • Genetic Diseases, Inborn / psychology
  • Genetics, Medical / ethics
  • Genetics, Medical / trends
  • Genome, Human
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Medicine / trends*
  • Molecular Diagnostic Techniques / trends
  • Prejudice
  • Prenatal Diagnosis / psychology*