Conclusion The Social And Ethical Issues Raised By Pharmacogeneticsimplications For Policy

This chapter has attempted to present realistic options for the development of pharmacogenetics and has highlighted the most important social and ethical problems that might result from their introduction. As stressed in the introduction, some of the problems may never arise, as they depend on the introduction of particular applications. Despite this there is a strong argument for considering each of these social and ethical issues seriously in advance of the introduction of pharmacogenetics. This would allow an assessment of the policies, regulation, and other measures that need to be put in place to ensure the greatest social benefit from the technology while minimizing the risk to public health and civil liberties. These can be outlined under three broad headings as follows.

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