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Press Releases

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

PRMC Conference Explores Ethics of Genetics Testing

SALISBURY, MD---Do you want to know now your possibilities of suffering from heart disease, cancer or Huntington's chorea?  Information is the gold standard in today’s world and genetic diagnosis may represent the new face of medicine.

But mapping patients’ genetic dispositions is not an unmixed blessing and is fraught with many ethical issues. Who would own a person’s genetic profile? How reliable would the information be, and could privacy be protected?

These are the kinds of questions that will be addressed at Peninsula Regional Medical Center’s fourth annual ethics conference and dinner 5-9 p.m. April 7. The event, “Genetics Testing Meets General Medicine: Ethnical Considerations,” takes place in the Wicomico Room of the Guerrieri University Center.

Speakers explore challenges in genetic testing with noted experts in the medical field. They include:

• Dr. Howard P. Levy of the Division of General Internal Medicine and McKusick-Nathans Institute of Genetic Medicine at Johns Hopkins University who discusses “Genetic Testing and Screening for Common Disease”;

• Dr. Lori H. Erby of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Behavior and Society, who presents “Ethical Issues of Genetic Screening”; and

• Dr. Luette S. Semmes of Peninsula Dermatology Associates, who makes a case presentation.

“This will be a unique opportunity for people to hear about this exciting and controversial field in bioethics. Dr. Levy is one of the top experts in the nation,” said Dr. Francis Kane, co-director of SU’s Institute for Public Affairs and Civic Engagement, which co-sponsors the event along with Peninsula Regional’s Patient Care Advisory Committee. “There are issues here that concern not just the health care practitioners but also every consumer of health care.”

Registration is $50, $40 for Peninsula Regional employees and $20 for students and pastors. Registration deadline is Friday, March 27.

To register or for more information call Debora Musser at Peninsula Regional at 410-543-7157.

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