Advances in genomic science are attracting the interest of the U.S. military for their potential to improve medical care for members of the militay and to aid in military recruitment, training and specialization, and mission accomplishment. In addition, large DNA banks operated by the military could be a valuable resource for military and civilian researchers. While ELSI research projects have explored issues raised by the use of genomic science in a wide variety of contexts, there has been virtually no examination of the ethical, legal, and social issues raised by military genomics beyond those relating to forensic use of the Department of Defense (DoD) DNA Registry. This project will bring the insights from the ELSI program and the broader conversation on the ethical, legal, and social issues posed by genomic science in general to bear on the unique challenges presented by potential uses of genomic science by the military. Building on work now underway to develop a bioethical framework for military bioenhancement, this project will construct the first bioethical and legal framework for military genomics, and will employ this framework to analyze how ELSI issues might be resolved.
This project will construct an ethical and legal framework for military genomics and apply this framework would apply to uses of genomic science contemplated by the U.S. military. This will promote the public health by elucidating ethically and legally appropriate ways to construct and utilize a proposed new military/VA DNA biobank, and by offering suggestions for how to protect the health and well-being of members of the military and their families as the military increases its uses of genomics.