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Scientific responsibility for the dissemination and interpretation of genetic research: lessons from the “warrior gene” controversy
  1. D Wensley,
  2. M King
  1. Bioethics Centre, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand
  1. Dr D Wensley, Bioethics Centre, Dunedin School of Medicine, PO Box 56, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand; dana.wensley{at}stonebow.otago.ac.nz

Footnotes

  • Funding: This article is based on research undertaken for the Human Genome Research Project (NZ). The multidisciplinary, international research project is led by Faculty of Law, University of Otago, with funds provided by the New Zealand Law Foundation.

  • Competing interests: None.

  • i We are thankful to our reviewers for pointing out this possible alternative interpretation of events.

  • ii For example the CIOMS International Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research Involving Human Subjects (appendix one) provides that among those items to be included in a research protocol are the “circumstances in which it might be considered inappropriate to publish findings, such as when the findings of an epidemiological, sociological or genetics study may present risks to the interests of a community or population or of a racially or ethnically defined group of people”.[Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS. International ethical guidelines for biomedical research involving human subjects. Geneva, Switzerland: CIOMS, 2002.] Similar considerations have been advocated by UNESCO, where the Universal declaration on bioethics and human rights endorses the obtaining of community consent where appropriate and the avoidance of stigmatisation and discrimination. [UNESCO. Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights. Paris, France: UNESCO, 2005. [Article 6(3)].

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Footnotes

  • Funding: This article is based on research undertaken for the Human Genome Research Project (NZ). The multidisciplinary, international research project is led by Faculty of Law, University of Otago, with funds provided by the New Zealand Law Foundation.

  • Competing interests: None.

  • i We are thankful to our reviewers for pointing out this possible alternative interpretation of events.

  • ii For example the CIOMS International Ethical Guidelines for Biomedical Research Involving Human Subjects (appendix one) provides that among those items to be included in a research protocol are the “circumstances in which it might be considered inappropriate to publish findings, such as when the findings of an epidemiological, sociological or genetics study may present risks to the interests of a community or population or of a racially or ethnically defined group of people”.[Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences (CIOMS. International ethical guidelines for biomedical research involving human subjects. Geneva, Switzerland: CIOMS, 2002.] Similar considerations have been advocated by UNESCO, where the Universal declaration on bioethics and human rights endorses the obtaining of community consent where appropriate and the avoidance of stigmatisation and discrimination. [UNESCO. Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights. Paris, France: UNESCO, 2005. [Article 6(3)].

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