Mental disorders and genetics: the ethical context


Published 01/09/1998

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Research into the genetics of mental disorders, such as schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s disease and depression, may help diagnosis and treatment. This report considers the ethical concerns raised, for example, around reproductive decisions and stigma.
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A public consultation was launched in February 1997. More than 100 responses were received from a wide variety of organisations and individuals. Respondents included:

  • individual clinicians and scientists
  • other academics and individuals
  • charities and other organisations
  • mental health user groups, learned and professional organisations and regulatory bodies
  • people who currently or previously had mental health problems or a psychiatric diagnosis or who came from a family with a history of mental health problems
  • ethicists or centres of ethics
  • religious groups
  • carers
  • lawyers or centres of law
  • health care providers
  • research ethics committees
  • women’s organisations.