Marchant, the Lincoln Professor of Emerging Technologies, Law and Ethics, co-wrote "Genetic Testing for Autism Predisposition: Ethical, Legal, and Social Challenges," with Jason Robert, the Lincoln Associate Professor of Ethics in Biotechnology and Medicine in the School of Life Sciences at ASU and Director of the Bioethics, Policy, and Law Program in the Center for Biology and Society.
This article identifies and discusses the ethical, legal and social implications of the role and use of genetics with respect to autism. It summarizes autism and recent scientific findings about genetic factors in autism, then briefly outlines the controversy about any role for genetics and analyzes various potential applications of genetics in the diagnosis, classification and treatment of autism.
The authors conclude that rapid and significant progress is being made in the scientific discovery and dissection of the genetic contribution to autism. Autism genetics currently remains largely in the research phase, although some autism centers are now starting to integrate genetic testing into their clinical evaluations when certain indications are present. Given the current status of scientific understanding and diagnostic development, the authors say, the argument for widespread genetic testing or screening for autism disorders is not strong.
To read the article, click here.
Marchant's research interests include the use of genetic information in environmental regulation, risk and the precautionary principle, legal aspects of personalized medicine, and regulation of emerging technologies such as nanotechnology, neuroscience and biotechnology. He teaches courses in Environmental Law, Law, Science & Technology, Genetics and the Law, Biotechnology: Science, Law and Policy, and Nanotechnology Law & Policy. Marchant also is a professor in ASU's School of Life Sciences.