Ethical and Legal Aspects of Whole Genome Sequencing (EURAT)

The project ‘Ethical and Legal Aspects of Whole Genome Sequencing’ (EURAT) began at the Marsilius Kolleg, Heidelberg University in March 2011 and is now funded by the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ). Scholars from the University, the Heidelberg University Hospital, the DKFZ, the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law and the Center for Health Economics Research Hannover (CHERH) at Hannover University have come together to address the normative – ethical and legal – issues as well as the economic aspects of whole genome sequencing. Their goal is to create in Heidelberg, already a centre of genome and tumour research, a platform for the discussion of the normative dimensions of genetic research.

EURAT has the following three objectives:

  1. to formulate policies that can be applied to the political policy discussions and the legislative procedure in Germany as well as to the international discussion on standards and regulations
  2. to stimulate and contribute to informed public discussion of the opportunities and risks of this research
  3. to establish a nationally and internationally visible platform in Heidelberg for the continuous and interdisciplinary work by relevant fields on normative questions raised by this research