The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues today released its report concerning genomics and privacy. The report, Privacy and Progress in Whole Genome Sequencing, concludes that to realize the enormous promise that whole genome sequencing holds for advancing clinical care and the greater public good, individual interests in privacy must be respected and secured.
As the scientific community works to bring the cost of whole genome sequencing down from millions per test to less than the cost of many standard diagnostic tests today, the Commission recognizes that whole genome sequencing and its increased use in research and the clinic could yield major advances in health care. However it could also raise ethical dilemmas.
“This is a forward-looking report. It’s not a response to a crisis. But the commission understands that if this issue is left unaddressed, we could all feel the effects,” said Commission Chair, Amy Gutmann, Ph.D.
The Commission offers a dozen timely proactive recommendations that will help craft policies that are flexible enough to ensure progress and responsive enough to protect privacy.
You can read the report here.