The development of contemporary medical genetics research models and the need for scientific responsibility


Current medical genetics research is dominated by a single theory that supports the Human Genome Project rationale. This thesis investigates this and several alternative hypotheses and the ethical context related to their development. Firstly, the hypotheses are discussed in detail followed by a subsection in which research evidence based on each hypothesis is cited. Secondly, these medical genetics hypotheses are situated within the contemporary medical paradigm. To conclude, the thesis examines in depth the ethical and practical implications of medical genetics research. A framework of analysis of scientific responsibility is used to explore these implications. Scientific responsibility, as presented in this thesis, is a process consisting of three steps: scientific discourse; the development of the nature of scientific responsibility; and, effective criticism. Once scientific responsibility is defined, the term is applied specifically to the field of medical genetics research.

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