When the first pregnancy tests became available there were widespread calls to prevent women from performing these tests themselves.
People have concerns about any new technology. The same goes for developments in the field of DNA science.
The three main ethical questions linked to DNA analysis concern:
- The reliability of the results
- Diseases that cannot be prevented or cured
- How anonymity can be guaranteed
To ensure that everyone can see how we deal with these issues at iGene, we have drawn up an ethical code.
This code serves as a guide for our actions and a reference if dilemmas arise.
1. The reliability of the results
All the information we provide via the iGene Passport has been thoroughly screened, checked and tested against our scientific analysis model in advance. To guarantee the reliability of the results, we employ strict validation criteria. We therefore consult expert reviews to compare the results of scientific studies and we re-analyse source material from the reviews ourselves.
2. Diseases that cannot be prevented or cured
iGene does not provide any information about diseases that cannot (yet) be prevented or cured.
3. How anonymity can be guaranteed
iGene never passes on client data to third parties. To guarantee the privacy of our clients, we process payment data and account data using two separate systems on two different servers. After we have processed a new DNA sample we remove the personal data of the client concerned from his or her account.
iGene's general position regarding DNA analysis
Generally speaking, we support the position taken by medical ethicist Eline Bunnik in her thesis ‘The New Genetics and Informed Consent’, i.e. that everyone must be able to weigh up the pros and cons of DNA analysis themselves.
We believe that everyone has the right to find out, completely anonymously, about the latest scientific developments linked to their own health and how they can take the initiative to improve their health.
DNA analysis is still the subject of much discussion within society. If new insights or developments give us cause to do so, we will refine our ethical code further.