Defense Date


Graduation Date

Fall 1-1-2017


One-year Embargo

Submission Type


Degree Name



Health Care Ethics


McAnulty College and Graduate School of Liberal Arts

Committee Chair

Gerard Magill

Committee Member

Henk ten Have

Committee Member

Joris Gielen


organizational, ethics, genetics, gene, individual, privacy, population health


The American culture holds the right to privacy as one of the most esteemed rights for individuals. As such, the culture adamantly defends the right to privacy to ensure individuals have the opportunity to live freely. In the American healthcare system, the right to privacy is critical for individual autonomy. However, genetic science has pushed this boundary as it emphasizes the interdependency between individual and population health. Genetic technologies for healthcare have been increasing at an exponential rate since the early 2000s. Their implantation into clinical care has been a slower process due to ethical dilemmas. Specifically, ethical dilemmas revolve around the use of individual genetic information for population benefit and future research. Ethical discourse on these dilemmas is typically from either the individual or population health perspective. This dissertation presents a healthcare organization’s perspective of ethical dilemmas when integrating genetic technologies into the organization. Specifically, this dissertation develops an organizational ethics framework to address the tensions between individuals and populations when implementing genetic technologies. The framework integrates three recurring and related ethical concepts in discussions about genetics: consent, conflict, compromise. The proposed framework is intended for organizational use to balance individual privacy and population benefits in both clinical care and research settings.