Meeting–Genomics, medicine and law

By Grant Jacobs 16/11/2009

Genomics technologies including genetic screening, disease diagnosis and so-called “genomic” or “personalised” medicine, raise legal and moral rights concerns with the public.

In a later post I hope to briefly examine some of the key issues from the point of view of the science, but here I would like to draw attention to a local roundtable-style meeting occurring in the very near future.

On Tuesday week (November 24th), the 2nd Australia-New Zealand Roundtable on Genomics ‘Producing and Using Genomic Knowledge for Health’ will be held at Lecture Theatre 1, Rutherford House, 23 Lambton Quay Wellington CBD from 8:30am — 4pm.

Pre-registration is required by 18 November but no registration fee will be charged. If you are interested in attending, e-mail

In response to my asking who the meeting is aimed at, Mr Wee advised:

The roundtable event involves everyone … the format will be one of ever increasing embrace of people, starting from the expert lab researchers and clinicians, to legal, ethics and policy people, informed members of the audience and the general public who are present.

This meeting is presented by the University of Otago and The Law Foundation of New Zealand.

The Otago University law faculty has been investigating issues in upcoming technologies and to this end recently created the New Zealand Law Foundation Chair in Emerging Technologies:

The Chair will lead the Centre for Law and Policy in Emerging Technologies guiding research that looks into the future and scans the horizon for emerging technologies that are likely to create significant changes and raise potential anxiety in society.

One area already under active investigation for a some time is the impact of genomics, through the Otago Law Faculty’s Human Genome Research Project (not to be confused with the Human Genome Project!)

There previous work has been released as a multi-part report.  (For cover to the third part, see above.)

If there is sufficient interest, I can post the meeting programme as  a PDF file (let me know).