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Title: Genetic information, autonomy and the family
Author: Stanton, Catherine
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2008
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The availability of genetic information poses challenges to both law and ethics in the context of the family. This is due to the shared nature of such information, the sensitivity with which it is viewed and the relative ease with which it can be gathered. This work identifies, in a healthcare context, the range of legal and ethical issues that genetic information will raise within families throughout the lives of those family members. It has been suggested that both the law and ethics should respond to these challenges by adopting a 'family-based model', whereby information is seen as belonging to the family as a whole. In contrast, this thesis argues that the present autonomy-based model should be maintained. The conception of autonomy adopted is that set out by Gerald Dworkin, whereby autonomy is seen as a capacity to reflect on our decisions. The adoption of an autonomy-based model views genetic information as belonging primarily to the individual from whom it has been gathered, with individuals largely retaining the right to determine when and with whom such information is shared. However, the retention of such a model is not to negate the moral obligations which family members may owe to each other.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available