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Bioethical theory and practice in genetic screening for type 1 diabetes
Linköping University, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Pediatrics. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Molecular and Clinical Medicine, Pediatrics. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Department of Health and Society. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences. Linköping University, Faculty of Health Sciences.
2003 (English)In: Medicine, Health care and Philosophy, ISSN 1386-7423, E-ISSN 1572-8633, Vol. 6, no 1, 45-50 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Due to the potential ethical and psychological implications of screening, and especially inregard of screening on children without available and acceptable therapeutic measures, there is a common view that such procedures are not advisable. As part of an independent research- and bioethical case study, our aim was therefore to explore and describe bioethical issues among a representative sample of participant families (n = 17,055 children) in the ABIS (All Babies In South-east Sweden) research screening for Type 1 diabetes (IDDM).The primary aim is the identification of risk factors important for the development of diabetes and other multifactorial immune-mediated diseases. Four hundred, randomly chosen, participant mothers were asked to complete a questionnaire exploring issues of information, informed consent, bio-material, confidentiality and autonomy, and of prevention/intervention. 293 completed the questionnaire, resulting in a response rate of 73.3%. The majority of questions had the form of 6-point Likert-type response scales (1–6).We found that the majority of respondents felt calm in regard of samples and written material, and also concerning the possibility of their child in the future being identified as having high risk of developing Type 1 diabetes. An important finding concerning access and control of mainly biological data was indicated, with the respondents expressing concern for potential future use. We believe our findings indicate that this kind of empirical studies can substantially contribute to our understanding of bioethical issues of medical research involving genetics. Issues, such as safeguards ensuring theethical criteria of autonomy and respect, were emphasised by our respondents. We believe theissues brought up may promote further discussion, and do suggest issues for consideration by, among others, researchers, bioethicists and Institutional Review Boards.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. Vol. 6, no 1, 45-50 p.
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-26477DOI: 10.1023/A:1022556705853Local ID: 11028OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-26477DiVA: diva2:247026
Available from: 2009-10-08 Created: 2009-10-08 Last updated: 2017-12-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Aspects in bioethics: Theory and practice in a preventive screening for type 1 diabetes
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Aspects in bioethics: Theory and practice in a preventive screening for type 1 diabetes
2003 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

From a clinical perspective, as well as societal and global, the present rapid increase in the number of people diagnosed with diabetes is a cause of great concern. Simultaneously, our understanding of the aetiology and pathogenesis of type 1 diabetes (IDDM) remain limited. As of now there are two main approaches to predict the risk of diabetes development: either before by assessing the genetic factors presumably involved, or after by a combination of immunological (IAA, la-2, GAD) and genetic typing. The problems are for example that only 10% of those that develop diabetes have a first-degree relative, and that only a proportion of those with a genetic susceptibility will eventually develop type 1 diabetes Theoretically, prevention of type 1 diabetes can be done at three different levels: primary, secondary and tertiary intervention. However, it is argued that more basic research is needed before effective and safe prevention of type 1 can be introduced. More effort is also needed to identify the environmental factors and potential triggers.

Screening for pre-diabetes belong to one of the two type of genetic testing and screening who are generally considered being ethically controversial: predictive, pre-symptomatic testing of children for disorders that do not usually (or where there are uncertainty in progression rate) manifest until adult life, and for which an effective intervention measure is not available. There are risks for creation of distress and anxiety, risks for false-positive results, risks of bypassing informed consent and stigmatisation in case of potential positive results. Discussed are also issues concerning the upholding of individual autonomy, confidentiality and integrity. Simultaneously, it has been argued that the ethical discussion is based on empirical premises that are not sufficiently studied, and that we furthermore lack empirical data.

Thematically this thesis belongs to the discipline of descriptive ethics. Our aim was to empirically explore and describe the attitudes and opinions of to, on the basis of the empirical results, point at and discuss issues of bioethical relevance. Our case was ABIS (All Babies In Southeast Sweden) an ongoing prospective longitudinal cohort study for the prediction and prevention of type 1 diabetes (n=17,005). The research design included both qualitative studies: interviews with participating and non-participating mothers, as well as health professionals involved, and a quantitative study: consisting of a designed questionnaire exploring bioethical issues.

The interview data indicate a positive attitude both to the ABIS aims and methods and there were less concern over research material, screening results, prevention than often assumed. However, there were concern expressed of issues concerning confidentiality, integrity and restrictions. The reasons for declining participation varied: not wanting their child put through frequent blood testing, fear of "experimentation". The interviews with the staff involved gave important data regarding information procedures and research design, for example the importance of identifying and informing all actors in research involving humans. The questionnaire data support at large earlier empirical findings: a benevolent attitude, less concern over biological samples and written material. Similar concerns were raised of confidentiality and integrity: material used to initial purposes, protection of identity, renewed consent. The majority wanted to know about high-risk status, even though no available intervention. Our interest in information and informed consent was renewed since participants showed a lack of knowledge/understanding regarding basic aims and methods. The problem of informed consent was discussed in the last two papers: the first focusing on the problem of obtaining informed consent, while the second explored potential alternatives of action if we have reason to believe the participants lack a sufficient understanding.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköpings universitet, 2003. 74 p.
Series
Linköping University Medical Dissertations, ISSN 0345-0082 ; 763
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-26653 (URN)11218 (Local ID)91-7373-520-5 (ISBN)11218 (Archive number)11218 (OAI)
Public defence
2003-01-10, Berzeliussalen, Hälsouniversitetet, Linköping, 13:00 (Swedish)
Opponent
Available from: 2009-10-08 Created: 2009-10-08 Last updated: 2012-09-24Bibliographically approved

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Gustafsson Stolt, UlricaLudvigsson, JohnnyLiss, Per ErikSvensson, Tommy

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