Human Genetics Commission (HGC)

The UK Human Genetics Commission (HCG, London) is the UK Government’s advisory body since 1999 on new developments in human genetics and their impact on individual lives. HCG advices the Government on human genetics with a particular focus on the social, ethical and legal issues. One of the key roles is to promote debate and to listen to what the public and stakeholders have to say. Human Genetics Commission is very committed to openness and transparency. From 1 January 2009 HCG has adopted the ‘Information Commissioner’s Model Publication Scheme’ for public authorities (a download is possible on the website of HCG).

The Commission is made up of twenty-one members including experts in genetics, ethics, law and consumer affairs. There is also a Consultative Panel of people who have direct experience of living with genetic conditions and who act as a sounding board for reports and recommendations.

In order to carry out the work, it is divided between working groups, which look at specific projects, and monitoring groups, which have an ongoing function. Examples of subjects are: genetics and identity, databases, genetics and insurance. There is also a Business Committee that considers public involvement issues as well as routine business. 

The website includes besides links and activities (etc.) a lot of information about HCG itself in terms of motivation and philosophy.

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