Standard Article

Ethics and Evidence

  1. Nina Hallowell

Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

DOI: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0005959



How to Cite

Hallowell, N. 2006. Ethics and Evidence. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. The University of Edinburgh Medical School, Edinburgh, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 SEP 2006

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (15 MAR 2013)


The familial nature of genetic information raises issues about patient confidentiality and the legitimacy of disclosure to biological kin. Ethical arguments center on the right to privacy versus the right to obtain knowledge about oneself. Empirical research suggests that, although the need for disclosure within the family is not contested, the practice of disclosing information to particular relatives is experienced as being ethically contentious.


  • BRCA1/BRCA2 testing;
  • disclosure;
  • family;
  • obligation;
  • practice