The trusted source for
healthcare information and
The newly formed International Society of Psychiatric Genetics (ISPG) Ethics Committee will examine many ethical issues raised by emerging knowledge and technologies.1
“There is a severe lack of guidance about the responsible use of psychiatric genetics in clinical and nonclinical settings,” says Maya Sabatello, LLB, PhD, a committee member and assistant professor of clinical bioethics at Columbia University.
The ISPG Ethics Committee aims to close some of this gap. The group consists of psychiatric genetics researchers, clinicians, bioethicists, lawyers, and others. The overarching goal, says Sabatello, is “to promote the responsible use of psychiatric genetics in society through education and published guidelines.”
Central ethical issues include return of results, social justice, racial diversity, and possible use of psychiatric genetics in nonclinical settings such as courts and schools. “Questions about prediction of genomic risks are likely to increase,” Sabatello says.
To answer these questions, certain ethical issues need to be addressed first, including:
Who should be involved in this process also is important. “Ethicists can help by requiring that results are returned by a genetic counselor and that there are supports in place to ensure that those who receive results are not harmed by them,” Sabatello says.
Financial Disclosure: Physician Editor Arthur R. Derse, MD, JD, Nurse Planner Susan Solverson, RN, BSN, CMSRN, Editor Jonathan Springston, Editor Jill Drachenberg, Editorial Group Manager Leslie Coplin, Accreditations Manager Amy M. Johnson, MSN, RN, CPN, and Author Stacey Kusterbeck report no consultant, stockholder, speakers’ bureau, research, or other financial relationships with companies having ties to this field of study.