University of Insubria, Italy
Posters & Accepted Abstracts: J Neurol Neurophysiol
Introduction: An increasing interest in genetics of aggressive behavior has developed in literature over time and specifically regarding genes involved in dopaminergic and serotonergic systems, sex steroids and glucocorticoids. This has led to the idea that it was possible to make genetic tests to define a risk profile. The same could be said for mood and anxiety disorders, psychosis, schizophrenia syndromes and antisocial and criminal behavior. However, the results obtained to date are mostly contradictory, un-replicable and lack standardized protocols and the legal frames are not clear. Aim: To highlight the use of genetic determinism in courtrooms, to consider legal and social issues and to value new ethical challenges. Methods: To research the use of genetic evidence in Italian courtrooms and to map the key ethical controversies. Results: Italian case reports of reduced sentences with bad genes. Discussion: Giving excessive importance to biological characteristics can lead, following a consequential logic (slippery slope theory), to the predetermination of future ways of behaving of the individual, to the point of justifying the application of preventive measures in order to reduce the risk of deviance of those who would be considered predestined, according to a probability calculus (Angelina Jolie effect), to express an impulsive-aggressive attitude. From a criminal justice system, one might lead to a preventive model that would legitimize the compression of personal freedom only for the presence in the DNA of peculiar properties predisposing to crime, which would open the way to selective scenarios of Lombrosian memory.
Elena Ferioli obtained a degree in Biology from the University of Insubria in 1998 where she undertook her academic career attaining two PhDs, the first in Evolutionary Biology and Development in 2002 and the second in Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology. Since 2007, she covers a technical and scientific role in the Department of Medicine and Public Health and recently in the Department of Biotechnology and Life Science, in support to forensic research. Since 2010, with higher education courses in Clinical Risk Management and in Ethics Health Management, she deals with research in bioethics with particular reference to genetics and biobanks.