Abstract
Most of the literature on pharmacogenetics assumes that the main problems in implementing the technology will be institutional ones (due to funding or regulation) and that although it involves genetic testing, the ethical issues involved in pharmacogenetics are different from, even less than, ‘traditional’ genetic testing. Very little attention has been paid to how clinicians will accept this technology, their attitudes towards it and how it will affect clinical practice. This paper presents results from interviews with clinicians who are beginning to use pharmacogenetics and explores how they view the ethics of pharmacogenetic testing, its use to exclude some patients from treatment, and how this kind of testing fits into broader debates around genetics. In particular this paper examines the attitudes of breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease specialists. The results of these interviews will be compared with the picture of pharmacogenetics painted in the published literature, as a way of rooting this somewhat speculative writing in clinical practice.
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DOI 10.1016/j.shpsc.2006.06.003
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