The rapid advances made in genetic research and technology over the last few decades have led to a host of important discoveries that have allowed for the detection (and hopefully soon the treatment) of a number of genetic conditions and diseases. Not surprisingly, these advances have also raised numerous ethical concerns about how result ing technologies will be implemented, and the impact they will have on different com munities. One particular concern is the enormous costs involved in conducting genetic research and the fact that the private sector has become heavily involved; the desire to commercialize the results and technology derived from genetic research is considered problematic. In September 1998, the Second International Conference on DNA Sampling, titled "The Commercialization of Genetic Research: Ethical, Legal and Policy Issues," was held of the conference, and of this book, was to in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The goal facilitate an interdisciplinary discussion of the legal, ethical, and policy implications arising from the commercialization of genetic research. We solicited contributions for the book from authors in fields as diverse as ethics, law, medicine, health policy, and the social sciences. The papers included, while based on presentations given at the conference, have been substantially expanded and enhanced by the commentary received and discussions held at the conference.
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