Insights from the Developmental Origins of Health and Disease paradigm and epigenetics are elucidating the biological pathways through which social and environmental signals affect human health. These insights prompt a serious debate about how the structure of society affects health and what the responsibility of society is to counteract health inequalities. Unfortunately, oversimplified interpretations of insights from Developmental Origins of Health and Disease and epigenetics may be (mis)used to focus on the importance of individual responsibility for health rather than the social responsibility for health. In order to advance the debate on responsibility for health, we present an ethical framework to determine the social responsibility to counteract health inequalities. This is particularly important in a time where individual responsibility often justifies a passive response from policymakers.

Additional Metadata
Keywords DOHaD, epigenetics, ethics, justice, responsibility
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1017/S2040174417000654, hdl.handle.net/1765/105458
Journal Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease
Citation
M'hamdi, H.I, de Beaufort, I.D, Jack, B.W, & Steegers, E.A.P. (2018). Responsibility in the age of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease (DOHaD) and epigenetics. Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease, 9(1), 58–62. doi:10.1017/S2040174417000654