Research Ethics in the Era of Personalized Medicine: Updating Science’s Contract with Society

- Public Health Genomics
Author/s: -Meslin, Eric M -Cho, Mildred K
Journal: Public Health Genomics
Year: 2010
Volume: 13
Issue: 6
Pages: 378
Start Page: 378

With the completed sequence of the human genome has come the prospect of substantially improving the quality of life for millions through personalized medicine approaches. Still, any advances in this direction require research involving human subjects. For decades science and ethics have enjoyed an allegiance reflected in a common set of ethical principles and procedures guiding the conduct of research with human subjects. Some of these principles emphasize avoiding harm over maximizing benefit. In this paper we revisit the priority given to these ethical principles – particularly the principles that support a cautious approach to science – and propose a reframing of the ‘social contract’ between science and society that emphasizes reciprocity and meeting public needs.