Genetic Testing: Accounts of Autonomy, Responsibility and Blame, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Genetic Testing

Accounts of Autonomy, Responsibility and Blame, 1st Edition

By Michael Arribas-Ayllon, Srikant Sarangi, Angus Clarke


214 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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Advances in molecular genetics have led to the increasing availability of genetic testing for a variety of inherited disorders. While this new knowledge presents many obvious health benefits to prospective individuals and their families it also raises complex ethical and moral dilemmas for families as well as genetic professionals.

This book explores the ways in which genetic testing generates not only probabilities of potential futures, but also enjoys new forms of social, individual and professional responsibility. Concerns about confidentiality and informed consent involving children, the assessment of competence and maturity, the ability to engage in shared decision-making through acts of disclosure and choice, are just some of the issues that are examined in detail.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Genetic Testing: Technology in Context 3. Neo-liberalism and the New Genetics 4. Rhetorical Discourse Analysis 5. Personal Genomics and the Media 6. Family Accounts of Genetic Responsibility 7. Accounts of Genetic Testing in the Clinic 8. Professional Accounts of Ethical Challenges in Prenatal Clinic 9. Conclusion

About the Authors

Michael Arribas-Ayllon is Lecturer in Biological and Cognitive Psychology at Cardiff University. His research interests include histories and futures of biological knowledge, the social shaping of genetic testing, the politics of personalised medicine and the discourse ethics of genetic counselling and risk communication.

Srikant Sarangi is Professor of Language and Communication and Director of the Health Communication Research Centre at Cardiff University. His research interests are in discourse analysis and applied linguistics, language and identity in public life, and institutional/professional discourse studies. He is author/editor of 12 books, guest-editor of five journal special issues and has published over 200 journal articles and book chapters.

Angus Clarke is Professor in Clinical Genetics in Cardiff University. He has interests in Rett syndrome and ectodermal dysplasia, as well as genetic screening, the genetic counselling process and the social and ethical issues raised by advances in human genetics. He also teaches and works as a clinician. He represents the Chief Medical Officer for Wales on the Human Genetics Commission. He has co-authored and edited six books, including Genetics, Society and Clinical Practice (jointly with Professor Peter Harper).

About the Series

Genetics and Society

The books in this series, all based on original research, explore the social, economic and ethical consequences of the new genetic sciences. The series is based in the Cesagene, one of the centres forming the ESRC’s Genomics Network (EGN), the largest UK investment in social-science research on the implications of these innovations. With a mix of research monographs, edited collections, textbooks and a major new handbook, the series is a valuable contribution to the social analysis of developing and emergent bio-technologies.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LAW / Science & Technology
MEDICAL / Ethics
MEDICAL / Genetics
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Genetics & Genomics
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Anthropology / Physical
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General