Genetic information: Making a just world strange

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In an article recently published in this journal, I raised a puzzle about the control of genetic information, suggesting a situation in which it might turn out that we have a duty to remain in ignorance about at least some aspects of our own genome. In this article, I propose a way that would make sense of how the puzzle arises, and offer a way to resolve it and similar puzzles in future: in essence, we would consider genetic information to be something the distribution of which may be more or less just. We would not know in advance what a just distribution would be, though, and in some cases there might still be a justice-based reason to deny a person genetic information about himself. However, others might also have justice-based claims to be able to access that information. This suggests that there is a possible world in which one person is entitled to at least some genetic information about another, while that other person - to whom the information refers - is not, and that this world would be just. © 2014 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-246
Number of pages15
JournalTheoretical Medicine and Bioethics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • Genetic information
  • Insurance
  • Justice
  • Privacy


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