Genetic testing and human autonomy

Beckmann J.P. (2004)


The author inquires into the relation between the production of genetic knowledge on the one hand, and human autonomy and self-determination on the other. He does so by specifying the notions of "genetic test" and "human autonomy"; by discussing the epistemic status of genetic knowledge, given its importance for the clarification of its anthropological and ethical implications; and by inquiring into some ethical implications by investigating the conditions under which genetic knowledge of the individual may justifiably be established. This discussion shows that the autonomy-based right to self-determination as far as gene information is concerned, is fundamental. This has major implications, which the author identifies with regard to the difficult problem of the moral legitimacy of the use of genetic knowledge in the context of insurance policies.

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