Special Issue on Severity in the Genomic Age

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The concept of the ‘severity’ or ‘seriousness’ of a genetic condition (disease/disorder) is pivotal to determining current, and future, applications of genomic medicine.  Yet this concept - which often serves as an access and permissibility “filter” for genomic testing and technologies – remains nebulous and poorly understood. Recent work across a range of disciplines has begun the process of mapping and critically engaging with the contours of this complex phenomenon, taking account of a range of stakeholder perspectives and the varying contexts in which the notion of ‘severity’ is relevant.

This special issue will bring together key work in this area, including outputs from a recent Brocher Foundation workshop ‘Severity in the genomic age: clarification and applications’ (June 2023). This workshop was attended by an international group of researchers, professionals and policy-makers interested in the concept of severity and its applications in genomics.

We welcome submissions to this special issue on a wide range of topics relevant to severity, including but not limited to:

  1. Normative or ethical reflections on the concept of severity
  2. The application of severity across different technological applications and contexts
  3. Measures, classification systems and frameworks for capturing severity, as well as their development and evaluation
  4. The role and significance of severity within healthcare policy-making and priority setting in the international arena
  5. The significance/relevance of lived experience, social, environmental and economic contexts to understandings of severity
  6. How competing versions of severity across stakeholder groups or applications can be weighed or prioritised  

We welcome empirical papers, reviews and comment/viewpoint articles. Deadline for submission: 31st January 2024.

Submissions are welcome from authors regardless of whether they attended the Brocher workshop.

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