Ethical aspects on rare diseases

- Adv Exp Med Biol
Author/s: -Barrera, L. A. -Galindo, G. C.
Journal: Adv Exp Med Biol
Year: 2010
Volume: 686
Pages: 493-511

In this chapter we discuss several of the most relevant subjects related to ethics on Rare Diseases. Some general aspects are discussed such as the socio-psychological problems that confront the patients and their families that finally lead to marginalization and exclusion of patients affected by these diseases from the health programs, even in wealthy countries. Then we address problems related to diagnosis and some ethical aspects of newborn screening, prenatal, pre-implantation diagnosis and reference centers, as well as some conditions that should be met by the persons and institutions performing such tasks. Alternatives of solutions for the most critical situations are proposed. Subsequently the orphan drugs subject is discussed not only from the availability point of view, prizes, industrial practices, and purchasing power in developed and developing societies. The research related to rare disease in children and other especially vulnerable conditions, the need for informed consent, review boards or ethics comities, confidentiality of the information, biobanks and pharmacogenetics are discussed.