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Me medicine vs. we medicine: reclaiming biotechnology for the common good, by Donna Dickenson, New York, Columbia University Press, 2013, 296 pp., £19.95 (hardback), ISBN 978-0-231-15974-6 “Is personalised medicine replacing public healthcare in ways that are ultimately detrimental to all of us?” This is the central question that Donna Dickenson sets out to answer in her most recent book Me Medicine vs. We Medicine. Presenting itself as a “reality check” for the much-publicized claims about the desirability – and often the inevitability – of revolution(s) and sundry “paradigm shifts” to be brought about through personalized medicine, the book centres on four case studies: direct-to-consumer genetic testing, private cord blood banking, pharmacogenomics and human enhancement technologies. These represent the “me medicine” of the title; the individualized self-knowledge and self-management offered by direct-to-consumer genetic (and genomic) testing, the patient-tailored drug regimens promised by pharmacogenetics (PGx), the evocation of parental duty to privately bank umbilical cord blood as a future self-repair kit of stem cells for individual children and the possibilities for self-improvement suggested by biomedical enhancement.

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New Genetics and Society

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