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With growing US support for personalized medicine, a look at ethical dilemmas
Date:9/17/2010

(Garrison, NY) As government support for personalized medicine grows, a consumer advocate, a patient, and bioethicists explore ethical controversies. Direct-to-consumer genetic tests, privacy, targeted cancer therapies, and Henrietta Lacks are among topics in a special issue of the Hastings center Report

Behind the high expectations raised by personalized medicine the use of genetic information to individualize treatment, improve care, and possibly save money a series of essays in the Hastings Center Report examines the challenges in determining what is effective; benefits and drawbacks for patients; and consumers' right to their genetic information, however imperfect. Ronni Sandroff, an editorial director of Consumer Reports, writes on controversies surrounding direct-to-consumer tests and discusses her essay in a podcast.

"The Prospects for Personalized Medicine." A roundup of recent government initiatives to promote personalized medicine, successes with genetically customized drug treatments, and quality control problems with genetic tests is given by Shara Yurkiewicz, a first-year student at Harvard Medical School.

"Personalized Medicine's Ragged Edge." How should we determine who should get expensive treatments? If there were a thick, bright line separating the minimal responders from the maximal responders, then we could allocate these treatments fairly. But the reality, explains Leonard Fleck, a bioethicist at Michigan State University, is more like a ragged edge some people will clearly benefit a lot, some people will clearly not benefit at all, and many people will benefit somewhat.

"Personalized Cancer Care in an Age of Anxiety." To get an idea of how personalized medicine coul
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Contact: Mary Crowley
crowleym@thehastingscenter.org
917-282-8799
The Hastings Center
Source:Eurekalert

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