Chapter

Genetics and public health: historical perspectives and current challenges and opportunities

Gilbert S. Omenn

in Genetics and Public Health in the 21st Century

Published in print September 2000 | ISBN: 9780195128307
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199864485 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195128307.003.0002

Series: Oxford Monographs on Medical Genetics

 Genetics and public health: historical perspectives and current challenges and opportunities

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This chapter traces the historical paths that have led to the emergence of public health genetics. The importance of anticipating and addressing the social, ethical, and legal ramifications of scientific advances and of medical and public health applications of genetics is also discussed. The chapter argues for the need to be sensitive to the legacy of the eugenics movement of several decades ago, and to recognize the problems associated with making medical diagnoses (including prenatal diagnoses) when no treatment or preventive intervention is known.

Keywords: public health genetics; public health practice; human genetics; scientific advances; eugenics movement; prenatal diagnoses

Chapter.  8287 words. 

Subjects: Public Health and Epidemiology

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