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Hello, I'm Shirley Hodgson.
I'm a cancer geneticist.
I've been working in cancer genetics really since 1980,
which is a long time,
mostly at Guy's and then more recently at St. George's Hospital,
and now I'm working part-time at
Leicester Royal Infirmary and doing clinics in cancer genetics.
I want to talk a little bit about the ethics of
the issues that we get involved within cancer genetic counseling,
and the way one approaches talking to people and trying to explain
the rather complicated issues about cancer genetics and general genetics also,
and then some of the more complicated ethical issues
that we can see coming at us from the future.
I've just put this slide up because, of course,
we always assume that people we talk to know exactly the sorts of
things that we know about genetics and genetics issues, but, of course,
other people may not have the same background and may not understand it in the same way,
and it's very important to try and step back a little bit as we talk to people to try and
get a feel for what they understand about
the issues that we're talking about rather than what we understand,
which is often quite difficult.
Just to start with,
I would like to just define ethics, in general.
It's thought to be a generic term for ways of understanding and examining the moral life.
The four principles of ethics are autonomy,
beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice.
Those all seem totally wonderful and good ideals and principles,
but of course, they don't always agree with each other.
You might find that one of them might actually
give you something which disagrees with the next one.