Sport, genetics and prevention


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Title Sport, genetics and prevention
Period 03 / 2007 - unknown
Status Completed
Research number OND1333984
Data Supplier Website CSG


Aim: The major aim of this research is the proactive exploration of the ethical, cultural and societal implications of the application of genomics in sport and to contribute to the development of normative instruments for future (preventive and selective) practices and adequate policy making. We will investigate the way in which physicians, sports men and women and organisations in sport and medicine frame ethical and societal issues raised by the potential applications of genomics in sports and sport medicine, bringing in lessons from one national context to the other, thereby focusing also on international and more specifically the European level and its interaction with member states policies. Research questions: * How do new genetic (diagnostic, preventive and selective) technologies develop within the field of sports and sports medicine? Which specific ethical and social dilemmas appear during this process? * How is professional responsibility framed by sports physicians and other representative bodies and how do they handle conflicts between intrinsic values of sports (competition, excellence), social values (admiration, endurance) and medical values (prevention, health). * How are responsibilities defined when health risks concern children and how may pedagogical values be protected against risky pressures to excel in sport? * Should genetic and other predictive tests be offered to athletes, and if so, on a mandatory or voluntary basis, and should this lead to (mandatory) exclusion of athletes at risk? Three case studies: The focus of the proposed study is on two possible applications of genomics in sport: prevention and selection. A selection of three case studies has been made in order to follow and study some of the new connections that are made between genomics, sport and society. We will primarily focus on cardiovascular risks, e.g. sudden death, brain damage in boxing and identification of athletic genes as exemplary cases that regard both amateur and elite sport, which illustrate, given the importance of (both amateur and elite) sport in present society, the impact of genomics and predictive medicine upon the future of public health.

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Project leader Prof.dr. R. Vos

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