Lords welcome Council's inquiry on medical profiling and online medicine
The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee has today published a report on Genomic Medicine, making recommendations for the future use of genetic tests both in the NHS and in the growing private market.The report comes as the Council is considering the ethical issues raised by advances in genomic medicine as part of its current inquiry on Medical profiling and online healthcare: the ethics of 'personalised healthcare' in a consumer age.The House of Lords report states: "...we welcome the launch in October 2008 of a study by the Nuffield Council for Bioethics into the ethical issues raised by new technologies that involve more personalised healthcare."Hugh Whittall, Director of the Council, said:“The increasing use of genomic variation studies to assess disease risk can bring many benefits but raises a host of ethical issues, and we are pleased to see these being given due attention in the House of Lords.”“For example, some commercial companies are now offering to individuals genetic tests that give detailed information about their health risks, without the need for prior consultation with their GP. But the disease risks associated the genes being tested have not always been well researched, potentially leaving people with misleading or inaccurate results. This might either give them false reassurance, or send them in alarm to their GPs when there may be nothing wrong. The Council will be looking at this and many other issues, and we would encourage the Government to consider very seriously the issues raised in this report.”Links Find out more about the Council's Working Party on Medical profiling and online healthcare: the ethics of 'personalised healthcare' in a consumer ageFind out more about the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee on Genomic Medicine.