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p. 867. How modern genetics is testing traditional confidentialitylocked

  • Tony Hope

Abstract

‘How modern genetics is testing traditional confidentiality’ provides examples of genetic tests that are forcing medical confidentiality to be rethought. The three most common reasons for why maintaining medical confidentiality is important are: respect for patient autonomy, to keep an implied promise, and to bring about the best consequences. Guidelines from the General Medical Council and the Hippocratic Oath are highlighted to show how doctors are advised to act in certain cases. Case comparisons of genetic testing that reveals secrets of paternity and inherited conditions show, however, that genetic information challenges the individualistic nature of many of the moral assumptions made in discussions of medical ethics in both Northern Europe and North America.

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