Regulating the Commercialization of Human Genetics

Can We Address the Big Concerns?
  • Timothy Caulfield


Given the amount of media attention and academic pontification on the subject, one would think that the “genetic revoltuion” had already delivered on its much publicized promise of medical and scientific breakthroughs (Time, 17.1.95, BusinessWeek, 10.3.97). In fact, there are currently very few genetic services which are readily available to the citizens of the “genome nations.” There have undoubtedly been increadib le advances in our knowledge of human genetics. Yet, outside of the diagnostic, carrier and presymtomatic tests for monogenic disorders there are only a handful of commercially available genetic services. There has, however, been an extraordinary amount of financial investment, both from public and private sectors, in the emerging “genetech” industry. Indeed, if this financial anticipation is any indication, we seem to be just around the corner from the next phase of the genetic revolution—the phase of practical application. And as we leave the current stage of initial discovery, it seems almost certain that the new era will not be dominated by the conventional laboratory scientist, but by the commercial entities that fund the research and that will ultimately disseminate the genetic services.


Genetic Service Individual Autonomy Commercialization Process Genetic Technology Consumer Culture 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy Caulfield
    • 1
  1. 1.Health Law InstituteFaculty of Law University of AlbertaCanada

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