The Application of Genetic Knowledge: Ethical and Policy Implications

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Abstract

This article explores societal ethical concerns about the application of the rapidly developing knowledge in the field of genetics. The article calls for nurses to reflect on these ethical concerns not only in the care of patients but also in professional and societal discussion, so that sound ethical and societally acceptable public policy can be adopted. A brief summmary introduces the concepts of ethics and policy. The text then offers discussion of genetic testing for adults and children, testing in relation to behavioral attributes, and genetics and reproduction. Hypothetical cases using fictional names are used to illustrate each section. recommendations for nurse action are cited. Finally the article poses questions that require public awareness and discussion.

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