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Transcript
The Human Genome as a Heritage
of Humanity
Human Genome =
Heritage of Mankind ?
The Human Genome as a Heritage
of Humanity
What is the
Human
Genome?
The Human Genome as a Heritage
of Humanity
What does “common heritage of
mankind” means and how did it
emerged?
The Human Genome as a Heritage
of Humanity
• The Universal Declaration on the Human
Genome and the Human Rights (UDHGHR)
explains in its 1st article that the genome, as it
recongnizes the dignity and diversity of all
mankind, is the heritage of humanity.
The Human Genome as a Heritage
of Humanity


Article 2 states that everyone has a right to
respect for their dignity and human rights
regardless of their genetic characteristics.
Furthermore, article 3 and 6 express a deep
concern about discrimination based on
genetic characteristics and condemns genetic
reductionism.
The Human Genome as a Heritage
of Humanity
• The possibility of patenting a gene or gene
sequence in its natural state is excluded.
– Nevertheless, article 4 doesn't preclude the rise
to intellectual property rights resulting from
genetic research.
The Human Genome as a Heritage
of Humanity


Article 5 sets the principle of
precaution and the principle of prior,
free and informed consent.
Allowing, nonetheless, the possibility
of “affirmative” discrimination.
The Human Genome as a Heritage
of Humanity
• The respect for privacy is seen as essencial,
since there could exist cases of abusive
practices by insurance companies and
employers (article 7 and 8).
• In order to assure this, article 9, prescribes
that only compelling and legal reasons may
present as limitations to this principle.
The Human Genome as a Heritage
of Humanity
• Regarding research on this subject, the
UDHGHR states that practices contrary to
human dignity shall not be permitted – as
clonning, selection of embryos based on sex,
or the creation of men-animals etc.
The Human Genome as a Heritage
of Humanity
• Concerning the exercise of this research,
article 13 to 16 stress that, despite freedom of
research, findings in this field should be
subject to particular attention due to its ethical
and social implications
• They also point that states shall foster the
conditions favourable to such research and
the creation of multidisciplinary ethics
committees.
The Human Genome as a Heritage
of Humanity
• Finally, the UDGHHR highlights the
importance of education – encouraging
exchanges and networking between
independent ethics committees – and the
need for an international debate.
The Human Genome as a Heritage
of Humanity
• The main focus of discussion turns around the
possibility of patenting genes
• Side by side, with another major issue, the
possible arising of eugenist conceptions.
The Human Genome as a Heritage
of Humanity