Quarterly scientific journal

Bioethical – Theological and Legal approach in genetic testing of adult persons

George Katsimigas , Georgia Vasilopoulou

Abstract

Thorough genetic testing gives possibility's diagnosis of genetic diseases or identity individuals, who genetic predisposed for disease outbreak Aims: To present/identify the ethical and religious issues, which arise from the application of genetic testing in humans. Furthermore, the principles from the European and Greek legislation regarding genetic testing will be discussed. Materials & Methods: A literature review based on both review and research literature, conducted during the period of (1993-2010), derived from MEDLINE, SCOPUS and ΙΑΤΡΟΤΕΚ databases using as key words: Bioethics, genetic testing, bioethics, access, genetic information, orthodox ethics, Legislation. Results: Genetic testing for disease prevention is of primary importance. The main ethical concerns however, are related to the dissemination/ disclosure and use of this information from insurance companies, healthcare authorities, scientists, forensic departments/services and employers. Similarly, the orthodox religion accepts the use of genetic testing for the prevention and treatment of diseases as long as there is no break of confidentiality. Finally, considering the legal issues, it is apparent that genetic information is regarded as personal information and as such it is protected from the national (Greek) and international law. Conclusions: It is necessary to ensure that the public authorities protect the rights of their citizens regarding genetic testing and all insurance companies, employers, schools etc. should not be allowed to have access to genetic information. Such an approach will ensure that social discrimination, obstructions or other inequalities between people on the basis of genetic information is avoided.

Keywords: Genetic testing, bioethics, access, genetic information, Orthodox ethics, legislation

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