Epigenetics and Child Psychiatry: Ethical and Legal Issues

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Abstract

Epigenetics has the potential to revolutionize diagnosis and treatment in psychiatry, especially child psychiatry, as it may offer the opportunity for early detection and prevention, as well as development of new treatments. As with the previous introduction of genetic research in psychiatry, there is also the problem of unrealistic expectations and new legal and ethical problems. This article reviews the potential contributions and problems of epigenetic research in child psychiatry. Previous legal and ethical issues in genetic research serve as a guide to those in epigenetic research. Recommendations for safeguards and guidelines on the use of epigenetics with children and adolescents are outlined based on the identified issues.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)644-652
Number of pages9
JournalBehavioral Sciences and the Law
Volume33
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2015

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Law
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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