Can precision medicine be personal; Can personalized medicine be precise?

Document Type


Publication Date



washington; isb


People have always sought medical care that is tailored to every individual patient. Alongside with the historical development of institutions of care, the vision of personal and 'holistic' care persisted. Patient-centred medicine, interpersonal communication and shared decision making have become central to medical practice and services.

This evolving vision of 'personalized medicine' is in the forefront of medicine, creating debates among ethicists, philosophers and sociologists of medicine about the nature of disease and the definition of wellness, the impact on the daily life of patients, as well as its implications on low-income countries. Is increased 'precision' also an improvement on the personal aspects of care or erosion of privacy? Do 'precise' and 'personalized' approach marginalize public health, and can this care be personalized without attention to culture, economy and society?

The book provides a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary discussion of the ethos and ethics of precision/personal medicine, involving scientists who have shaped the field, in dialogue with ethicists, social scientists and philosophers of science. The contributing scholars come from all over the world and from different cultural backgrounds providing reflective perspectives of history of ideas, critical theory and technology assessment, together with the actual work done by pioneers in the field. It explores issues such as global justice, gender, public health, pharmaceutical industry, international law and religion, and explores themes discussed in relation to personalized medicine such as new-born screening and disorders of consciousness.

This book will be of interest to academicians in bioethics, history of medicine, social sciences of medicine as well as general educated readers.


Institute for Systems Biology


Table of Contents

1. Chapter 1: Precision and Persons in Medicine: An Introduction, Yechiel Michael Barilan and Margherita Brusa 2. The historical background of Personalized Medicine, Diego Gracia Guillen 3,. What 21st Century Medicine Should Be-History, Vision, Implementation and Opportunities, Leroy Hood, Nathan D. Price, and Simon J. Evans 4. The Problematic Side of Precision Medicine: A Short Voyage through Some Questions, Giovanni Boniolo 5. The precision paradox - How personalized medicine increases uncertainty, Henrik Vogt 6. Genomics and Precision Medicine: Through a Different Prism, Farhat Moazam 7. Personalization, Individuation and the Ethos of Precision Medicine, Yechiel Michael Barilan 8. Personalized Medicine and Genetic Newborn Screening, Margherita Brusa and Donna Dickenson 9. The Revolution of Personalized Medicine is Already Upon Us in Rare Diseases, Christopher P. Austin 10. Personalized Medicine and Disorders of Consciousness: An Alternate Convergence of Knowledge towards a New Clinical Nosology, Joseph J. Fins 11. Gender and Personalized Medicine: Methodological and Ethical Pitfalls, Marianne J. Legato 12. Potential Challenges to Doctor-Patient Trust Posed by Personalized Medicine, Shlomo Cohen 13. When does precision matter? Personalised medicine from the perspective of public health, James Wilson 14. CRISPR - A Challenge for National and International Regulation, Dianne Nicol 15. The Advent of Automated Medicine? The values and meanings of precision, Barbara Prainsack 16. Thoughtful Genomics, Jenny Reardon 17. Islamic Sunni perspectives on the ethics of precision medicine, Mehrunisha Suleman 18. Genetics, genetic profiles and Jewish law, Yehoshua Weisinger and Yechiel Michael Barilan 19. Pharmaceutical Contributions to Personalized Medicine, Roger Perlmutter