Conclusion

Genetic medicine is quickly leaving the stage in its history when it only has information and solace to provide its patients. As it becomes increasingly incorporated into public health, it will be important not to forget the moral tradition that sustains it. Affirming the traditional commitment of geneticists to the physical health and reproductive autonomy of their clients and patients means relinquishing geno-typic prevention as a formal goal for the profession. In contemporary political argot, public health genetics should continue to be an empowering, not an exclusionary science: it should continue to be about helping living people address their individual health problems, and not about protecting the gene pool or society from those people, as some form of expensive pollution. Speaking clearly about the place of prevention in public health genetics is one way the pioneers of the new era can reaffirm this fundamental conviction.

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