Standard Article

Human Genetics: Ethical Issues and Social Impact

  1. Neil F Sharpe1,
  2. Ronald Frederick Carter2

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0005649



How to Cite

Sharpe, N. F. and Carter, R. F. 2006. Human Genetics: Ethical Issues and Social Impact. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Genetic Testing Research Group, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

  2. 2

    McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006


Although genetic testing provides information that gives some degree of control over a potentially devastating situation, restrictive test licensing and prohibitively expensive fees may deny patients' access to genetic testing services. A comparative analysis of genetic testing for breast cancer, cystic fibrosis, hereditary hemochromatosis and Canavan disease is useful to review the social, ethical and legal implications for medical care and research.


  • genetic testing;
  • gene patents;
  • cystic fibrosis;
  • hereditary breast cancer;
  • hemochromatosis