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Books, Journals, New Media
September 9, 1998

Genetic PrivacyGenetic Secrets: Protecting Privacy and Confidentiality in the Genetic Era

Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


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JAMA. 1998;280(10):938. doi:10.1001/jama.280.10.938-JBK0909-5-1

Genetic Secrets is a comprehensive account of the legal issues and options raised by privacy and confidentiality related to recent developments in genetics and electronic record keeping in the context of the organization of health care delivery in the United States. Following from a Department of Energy sponsored workshop on Medical Information and the Right to Privacy in 1994, the volume is a collection of essays that are largely independent of each other.

This independence is reflected in points discussed as being controversial in one essay while being assumed in others. For instance, Tom Murray's challenge to the notion that genetic information should be treated as different from all other medical information seems not to be considered except in Mark Rothstein's final chapter, which serves as a summary and conclusion for the entire collection, complete with recommendations for American legislation. In fact, the concluding chapter might be a good starting point for some readers.

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