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Genetics: Legal Issues

Harmon, SHE

March 2015

in ‘International Encyclopaedia of the Social and Behavioural Sciences’

Wright, J. (ed.)


ISBN 978-0-08-097086-8 (hardback)

The legal challenges of emerging genetic practices are numerous and fundamental. Not only has genetics destabilized concepts of personhood, community, health, and disease, but also it has complicated the regulation of many fields, throwing into question settled concepts and mechanisms. This article highlights a range of live legal issues and then focuses on issues found in four settings: newly emerging research models, commercial practices associated with genetics, food security, and the practice of law. It concludes by suggesting that we are little closer to determining the appropriate role and form of law in relation to genetics than we were a decade ago.