Exploring the dynamic mutual interaction of technology and morality in the field of genetic susceptibility testing: a scenario study.

T.E. Swierstra, D. Stemerding*, M. Boenink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


With the rise of genomics promises and concerns have emerged about future possibilities for screening of genetic susceptibilities to common diseases in the population. In this article we start from the assumption that for a better understanding of the future ethical implications of genetic susceptibility screening we need to address the interaction between technological and moral developments in society. We introduce a techno-ethical scenario approach and show how it may help us to explore more systematically potential future interactions between technological and moral developments in the field of genetic susceptibility screening. The first step is a historical account of population screening, focussing on the ways in which emerging practices of (genetic) screening have been mediated by an evolving moral landscape in our society. Based on this history we present a techno-ethical scenario of the future, showing how technological developments may shape conditions in our society in which the introduction and use of genetic susceptibility tests more and more become a matter of private decisions, reinforcing claims to individual self-determination as a deeply rooted value in the moral landscape of our society.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1133-1145
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010

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