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The ethical and legal implications of direct-to-consumer genetic testing (T4/12)

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Thursday, December 05, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic tests offer the public the opportunity to obtain information about their ancestry, genetic health risks and carrier status and in recent years their popularity has dramatically increased. Patients receiving DTC test results indicating the possible existence of a potentially pathogenic genetic variant may seek NHS genetic testing to confirm the results of DTC tests. These patients might not otherwise not have been eligible for NHS genetic testing (because of an absence of family history or clinical symptoms).

Studies have also raised concerns about high false-positive results in the data provided to consumers. This may lead to patients demanding repeat testing if the results of NHS diagnostic tests do not match DTC test results.

This project will involve a review of the literature in relation to DTC genetic testing, and an examination of the legal and ethical issues relating to DTC genetic testing and the use of NHS resources to provide secondary testing to confirm previous DTC genetic test results, including (but not necessarily limited to) issues relating to resource allocation and possible liability in tort if the NHS were to refuse to provide genetic testing to individuals merely seeking confirmation of DTC results.

Entry Requirements

UK Bachelor Degree with at least 2:1 in a relevant subject or overseas equivalent.

University of Leicester English language requirements apply.

This project is available for UK/EU/International students.

How to Apply

Application advice and application link

Funding Notes

This project is funded by the Wellcome Trust Doctoral Training Programme.

Stipend for the PhD: Year 1 £19,919; Year 2 £21,542; Year 3 £23,298; Year 4 £23,997 (rates as of September 2019).

4 year PhD fee waiver at UK/EU rates.

International applicants need to ensure they can fund the difference between UK/EU and international fees for the duration of their studies.

We also will offer 2 fully funded places to international applicants from Lower-middle income countries per year. These will provide a full overseas fee waiver and stipend for 4 years.

Related Subjects

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