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Medicine, Government and the Human Genome

Author: JAMES S. LARSON
Published in JHHSA, Vol. 24 No. 3

The sequencing of the human genome
represents the most important scientific discovery of our
age. What can the medical community expect from
government in applying this new technology? The major
government initiative, the Human Genome Project, is due
to be completed in 2005, but a number of important issues
remain. Genetic therapy promises to be the most significant
use of the new technology, developing new drugs and
treatments for the genetic components of disease. But,
genetic enhancement is a controversial area involving
moral, legal and ethical issues. Government policy will
have to respond to this issues, as well as important
developments in the private sector. Ultimately, the public
good will have to be protected, as scientific discoveries
advance the frontiers of medicine.

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