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. 2018 Sep;15(5):419-428.
doi: 10.2217/pme-2018-0022. Epub 2018 Sep 27.

Reconceptualizing Harms and Benefits in the Genomic Age

Free PMC article

Reconceptualizing Harms and Benefits in the Genomic Age

Anya E R Prince et al. Per Med. .
Free PMC article


As new, high-powered sequencing technologies are increasingly incorporated into genomics research, we believe that there has been a break point in how risks and benefits associated with genetic information are being characterized and understood. Genomic sequencing provides the potential benefit of a wealth of information, but also has the potential to alter how we conceptualize risks of sequencing. Until now, our conceptions of risks and benefits have been generally static, arising out of the early ethical, legal and social implications studies conducted in the context of targeted genetics. This paper investigates how the increasing availability of genetic information is changing views about risks and benefits, particularly examining our evolving understanding of psychosocial harms and our expanding conception of benefit. We argue that the lack of robust empirical evidence of psychosocial harms and the expanding view that benefits of genomic research include indirect familial benefit necessitate continued ethical, legal and social implications research.

Keywords: ELSI; genomics research; next-generation sequencing; research ethics; risks and benefits.

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