Ethical Issues - Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science
What values are emphasized, how choices are handled when different values are at stake and how this affects health service, biomedical research and individuals, are some of the core issues in medical and health ethics.
Associate Professor Kristin Solum Steinsbekk works on various ethical issues that comes with new technology (such as genome sequencing). Over the past few years, sequencing of individuals' genes/genomes has increased dramatically in biomedical research. This technology is being introduced in clinical practice. When individuals' genomes are sequenced, huge amounts of data are produced, which today is not clinically relevant.
Here are many challenging questions:
- What should be interpreted?
- How to interpret?
- Who should interpret?
- Who should have access to such information?
- How should individuals and health service relate to such information?
Kristin Steinsbekk has followed the "CRC project" (page in Norwegian), a research project in which exome sequencing has been used to identify gene variants that cause colorectal cancer accumulation in a larger Norwegian genus.
The sub-project "Genome sequencing ethics" (page in Norwegian) focuses on ethical challenges in exome sequencing related to the CRC project in particular and various ethical and societal aspects of genome sequencing in general.
Kristin Steinsbekk also works with various research ethical dilemmas/challenges related to biobank research. Among other things, she has been part of HUNT4's ethics group. In addition to her position at the Department of Biomedical Laboratory Science, she is a visiting researcher at the Department of Public Health and Nursing at NTNU. There, she collaborates with various "Ethics researchers" and is a member of the Medical Ethics group