Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Kaan's Genetic Privacy Book Highly Commended

Congratulations to Terry Kaan, Associate Professor and Co-Director of HKU's Centre for Medical Ethics and Law, whose co-edited book, Genetic Privacy: An Evaluation of the Ethical and Legal Landscape (London: Imperial College Press, 2014) (with Calvin Ho) received a "Highly commended" award in the 2014 British Medical Association's Medical Book Awards.  The award was made within the 'Health and social care' category concerned with "Community care, health prevention, management, health services, medico-politics, medico-legal medicine, social medicine".  

About the Book.  Privacy is an unwieldy concept that has eluded an essentialised definition despite its centrality and importance in the body of bioethics. The compilation presented in this volume represents continuing discussions on the theme of privacy in the context of genetic information. It is intended to present a wide range of expert opinion in which the notion of privacy is examined from many perspectives, in different contexts and imperatives, and in different societies, with the hope of advancing an understanding of privacy through the examination and critique of some of its evolving component concepts such as notions of what constitute the personal, the context of privacy, the significance and impact of the relational interests of others who may share the same genetic inheritance, and mechanisms for the protection of privacy (as well as of their limitations), among others. More specifically, the discussions in this volume encourages us to think broadly about privacy, as encompassing values that are entailed in the sociality of context and of relations, and also as freedom from illegitimate and excessive surveillance. A long-standing question that continues to challenge us is whether genetic information should be regarded as exceptional, as it is often perceived. A conclusion that could be derived from this volume is that while genetic information may be significant, it is not exceptionally so. The work presented in this volume underlines the continuing and growing relevance of notions of privacy to genomic science, and the need to take ownership of a genetic privacy for the future through broad, rigorous and open discussion.  Contributors: Alastair V Campbell, Benjamin Capps, Jacqueline JL Chin, Oi Lian Kon, Kenji Matsui, Thomas H Murray, Nazirudin Mohd Nasir, Dianne Nicol, Anh Tuan Nuyen, Onora O'Neill, Margaret Otlowski, Yvette van der Eijk, Chunshui Wang, Ross S White.  Chapter 1 ("The Notion of Genetic Privacy") is available for download here.

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