Revista de Saúde Pública
On-line version ISSN 1518-8787
KOTTOW, Miguel H. Public health, genetics and ethics. Rev. Saúde Pública [online]. 2002, vol.36, n.5, pp. 537-544. ISSN 1518-8787. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-89102002000600001.
Genetics research has shown enormous developments in recent decades, although as yet with only limited clinical application. Bioethical analysis has been unable to deal with the vast problems of genetics because emphasis has been put on the principlism applied to both clinical and research bioethics. Genetics nevertheless poses its most complex moral dilemmas at the public level, where a social brand of ethics ought to supersede the essentially interpersonal perspective of principlism. A more social understanding of ethics in genetics is required to unravel issues such as research and clinical explorations, ownership and patents, genetic manipulation, and allocation of resources. All these issues require reflection based on the requirements of citizenry, consideration of common assets, and definition of public policies in regulating genetic endeavors and protecting the society as a whole Bioethics has privileged the approach to insdividual ethical issues derived from genetic intervention, thereby neglecting the more salient aspects of genetics and social ethics.
Keywords : Social bioethics; Genetics.