How do we ensure the ethical use of new medical technologies?


As researchers work to realize precision medicine’s clinical promise, Columbia has launched the Precision Medicine Ethics, Politics, and Culture Project to address pressing ethical, social, legal, and political implications—the first endeavor of its kind.

The Project is led by Rachel Adams, professor of English and Comparative Literature and Maya Sabatello, assistant professor of Clinical Bioethics, and it includes 18 fellows, faculty, and graduate students from fields ranging from philosophy and psychology to pediatrics and law. These fellows are now collaborating on issues such as inequalities in access, the role of race and ethnicity in precision medicine research, the impact of genetic information on understandings of self, health and (dis)ability, and patients’ privacies and rights to their own genomic data.

In September 2016, the Project—which is co-sponsored by a Humanities Initiative Grant, Columbia Precision Medicine Initiative, and Columbia's Center for the Study of Social Difference—started a lecture series featuring speakers from around the world. So far, presenters have discussed the potential for discrimination based on one’s genetic profile; whether close family members should be notified of those undergoing genetic or whole genome testing; trustworthiness in genomic research; and the right “not to know” genetic testing results.

With scholars in the humanities, social sciences, ethics, law, and medicine working together, Columbia’s Project on Precision Medicine ensures new ethical and cultural understandings accompany and inform life-changing medical breakthroughs. Learn more.

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