Open Access

Benefit-sharing: an inquiry regarding the meaning and limits of the concept in human genetic research

  • Kadri Simm
Genomics, Society and Policy20051:29

DOI: 10.1186/1746-5354-1-2-29

Published: 15 August 2005

Abstract

The Human Genome Project and the related research and development activities have raised heated discussions around some very basic ethical and social issues. A much debated concern is that of justice in human genetic research and in possible applications, especially pertaining to questions of just benefit-sharing - who and based on what sort of argumentation has the right to require benefits arising from research and discoveries, and what can even be considered as benefits? In what follows I will be examining and clarifying the notion of benefit-sharing by focusing on its justifications. I will argue for certain qualifications and limitations in using this concept in specific and universal contexts.