Incidental Findings in Data-Intensive Postgenomics Science and Legal Liability of Clinician-Researchers: Ready for Vaccinomics?

OMICS, Vol. 15, No. 9, pp. 615-624, September 2011, DOI: 10.1089/omi.2010.0137

10 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2013

See all articles by Ma'n H. Zawati

Ma'n H. Zawati

McGill University - Centre of Genomics and Policy

Yann Joly

McGill University - Centre for Genomics and Policy

Matthew Hendy Hendy

McGill University - Centre for Genomics and Policy

Date Written: July 5, 2011

Abstract

Vaccinomics encompasses a host of multiomics approaches to characterize variability in host-environment (including pathogens) interactions, with a view to a more directed or personalized use of vaccine-based health interventions. Although vaccinomics has the potential to reduce adverse effects and increase efficacy of vaccines, the use of high-throughput, data-intensive technologies may also lead to unanticipated discoveries beyond the initial aims of a vaccinomics study -- discoveries that could be highly significant to the health of the research participants. How do clinician-researchers faced with such information have to act? What are the attendant legal duties in such circumstances and how do they differ from the duties of non-clinician researchers? Together with a critical analysis of the international laws and policies framing researchers' duties with regard to incidental findings, this article also draws from Quebec's civil law -- with its rich jurisprudence on clinician and researcher liability -- as a case study to evaluate the potential legal implications associated with vaccinomics investigations. Given previous lessons learned from other data-intensive sciences, the education of clinician-researchers with regard to their roles, limitations, and legal obligations remains an important strategy to prevent potential legal complications and civil liability in vaccinomics research in the postgenomics era.

Suggested Citation

Zawati, Ma'n H. and Joly, Yann and Hendy, Matthew Hendy, Incidental Findings in Data-Intensive Postgenomics Science and Legal Liability of Clinician-Researchers: Ready for Vaccinomics? (July 5, 2011). OMICS, Vol. 15, No. 9, pp. 615-624, September 2011, DOI: 10.1089/omi.2010.0137, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2199109

Ma'n H. Zawati (Contact Author)

McGill University - Centre of Genomics and Policy ( email )

740 Dr. Penfield Avenue, Suite 5200
Montreal, Quebec H3A 0G1
Canada

Yann Joly

McGill University - Centre for Genomics and Policy ( email )

740 Dr. Penfield Avenue, Suite 5200
Montreal, Quebec H3A 0G1
Canada

Matthew Hendy Hendy

McGill University - Centre for Genomics and Policy ( email )

740 Dr. Penfield Avenue, Suite 5200
Montreal, Quebec H3A 0G1
Canada

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