Genomics and the Right to Health Autonomy: A Survey of international Health Policies
Moore, Scott Emory
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Session presented on Friday, July 24, 2015: Purpose: Nursing leadership in the international community spans many areas including health policy development. international health policies are varied in their subject matter and acceptance. With the development of new technologies and methods of accessing and using genomic data, many international policies regarding genomic science and patient autonomy have been created. Nurses must be aware of international policies and their impact on patient care. Additionally nurses must take an interest in their roles as advocates for patients' rights to health. Methods: This review of current international genomic policies and documents incorporates thematic review as a method for understanding current thinking with regard to genomics and patient autonomy. Results: This review reveals the rich history of genomic policy starting with the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The development of genomic health policies has been closely aligned with the policies regarding a patient's right to autonomy. The underlying constructs of these key areas of policy are very similar and their close association is central to nursing's role in the future of genomics and international health policy. Conclusion: international health policy development regarding genomics has great influence on science and research of the future. As scientists and patient advocates nurses benefit from having an understanding of international health policy and the right to health. Better understanding of the themes of genomics and patient autonomy will help nurses in their roles as leaders in the development of future international health policies and patient advocacy.