This event is part of the Columbia Precision Medicine Initiative’s series, Precision Medicine: Ethics, Politics, and Culture.
As a form of genomic science, precision medicine holds out the promise of new classifications of bodily anomaly (including disease and disability) and new possibilities for intervention and normalization. Its advocates argue that it will lead to improvements in the efficacy, efficiency and economy of healthcare services provision. Beyond its practical impact, however, the transition to precision medicine is likely to transform the professional and public imaginaries of the body, the normal self, and disability. In this talk Jackie Leach Scully will refer to some of the critiques that disability studies and bioethics have long brought to the genomic project, and examine their relevance for a future of precision medicine. She will explore how genomic research and healthcare inform the cultural constructions of normality and disability, and ask how researchers might influence those constructions in ethically robust ways.
Precision Medicine—an emerging approach for disease treatment and prevention that takes into account individual variability in genes, environment, and lifestyle for each person—raises a myriad of cultural, political, and historical questions that the humanities are uniquely positioned to address. As part of its overall Precision Medicine Initiative, Columbia is undertaking a broad based exploration of questions that precision medicine raises in law, ethics, the social sciences, and the humanities.