Rich databases and poor people: opportunities for developing countries


Minakshi Bhardwaj


Lancaster University



Abstract. The implications of genetics research is fundamentally same and all human beings share same intrinsic value but the world is divided into developing and developed countries based on socio-economic patterns, literacy, legal procedures and also techno­logical developments which are interlinked with these factors. Genetic databases have become crucial for research and therapeutic purposes; and have their own implications and importance for developing countries. They provide opportunities and threats to developing countries and raise dimensions that diversify the ethics of genomics at global level. They call for redressing gap between developed and developing countries and challenge us with the new horizons in genomic debate. This paper raises some of the ethical concerns in establishing databases, issues of governance and implications on the use of genetic data­bases in the context of developing countries. At present large-scale databases do not exist in developing countries, but in this paper an attempt is made to analyse different types of databases, their application, options for developing countries, opportunities and threats that large-scale genetic database might possess for developing countries.