Mr. James Colley, Genomic Facility Manager, Wales Gene Park
Dr. Alison Hall, Senior Policy Advisor, PHG Foundation,
Dr. Paula Saukko, Reader in Social Science and Medicine, Loughborough University
, Assistant Director, Cesagen, Lancaster University
VenueThe Grape & Olive, Wedal Road, Cardiff
As part of the ESRC Festival of Social Science, we are bringing together a panel of social scientists doing research related to whole genome sequencing, to talk about social, ethical and legal aspects of these developments with a group of practicing primary care workers.
BackgroundIn the near future, it will be possible, at a relatively low price, to analyse your genome (ie. your entire DNA code) to reveal whether you will or could develop physical or mental health conditions such as depression, some cancers, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. James Colley will provide a short introduction to the current use and applications of this technology.
One benefit is that it could allow you to take measures to prevent disease. But this technology raises social and ethical issues, e.g. would people feel obliged to find out about their future health? How will quality control be ensured? Will the volume of information be too great to be meaningful? Should people have to disclose the results to other family members, employers and insurance companies? What do those on the front line of providing healthcare think?
We’re interested in finding out what primary care practitioners think the implications for medical practice might be. Policy development in this area is ongoing, for instance professional organisations such as the Human Genome Organisation (HUGO) is due to produce a report on this in Autumn 2012. It will be interesting to compare their views with other concerned parties.