Sunday, March 22, 2015

Making "precision medicine" personal

Here's a short and sweet article by Zachary Berger and Dave deBronkart about "precision medicine."  The upshot:

Let’s not forget there’s more to a person than their physical selves: people have preferences, and their values vary. We assert that the ideal treatment is personalized to both our cells and our selves.

Only through shared deliberation by patient and health care provider does “precision medicine” become personal. Innovating new treatments is laudable but misguided unless patients identify what is at stake for them in current treatment gaps. Precision genomic research falls short of its potential if the risks and benefits of gene therapies aren’t in accord with the patient’s priorities.

As President Obama encourages precision medicine, he should support recognition of patient preference, and involvement in decisions, as part of this initiative, to ensure that “precision” medicine is not just “personalized” but personal. We say: blend the nuance of self with the nuance of cell.

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