All in the Family: Ethical Controversies in Cancer Genetics

Presentation Description: The new genetics yields an increasing array of genetic mutations and variation which can be detected in the laboratory.  Yet the clinical significance of many of these may be uncertain in terms of implications both in the clinical arena and in private human lives.  Bioethics focused on autonomy seems of limited value in addressing the concerns of who to test, who to tell, and what to do: if autonomy is about being separate, genetics is all about being related. This presentation explored ways in which ethics and legal constructs as well as genetics research can help construct this changing landscape and offer better informed approaches to these concerns.


Michelle A. Mullen, MHP, PhD
Associate Professor Departments of Paediatrics & Women’s Studies
University of Ottawa, ON
Consultant Bioethicist
Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario, Ottawa, ON

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