The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics   |  September 9, 2010

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The new science of genomics endeavors to chart the genomes of individuals around the world, with the dual goals of understanding the role genetic factors play in human health and solving problems of disease and disability. From
the perspective of indigenous peoples and developing countries, the promises and perils of genomic science appear against a backdrop of global health
disparity and political vulnerability. These conditions pose a dilemma for many communities when attempting to decide about participating in genomic
research or any other biomedical research. Genomic research offers the possibility of improved technologies for managing the acute and chronic diseases that plague their members. Yet, the history of biomedical research among people in indigenous and developing nations offers salient examples of unethical practice, misuse of data and failed promises.

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