6.1 The Terms of Reference require the Inquiry to report on whether, and to what extent, a regulatory framework is required to reflect the balance of ethical considerations relevant to the collection and uses of human genetic samples and information in Australia. The Inquiry is also directed to have regard to the range of Australian ethical opinion as to which, if any, uses and applications of human genetic information are ethically acceptable.

6.2 This chapter describes the nature of ethical considerations, the features of genetic information that raise ethical considerations and the ways that decisions involving ethical considerations can be justified. It describes a range of the justifications that are used in Australia, recognising that any regulatory framework for genetic information will need to find a balance among them. Finally, the chapter describes the ongoing and important functions that ethics can continue to perform in a regulatory framework.