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.
Jackie's talk on Thursday 9 March, entitled 'Precision Medicine, Embodiment, Self, and Disability', referred 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 asks how the enormous recent advances in genomic knowledge and capabilities are changing the meaning of the relationship between material embodiment and our sense of self; what that means for our understanding of embodiment that is disabled; and how the growth of precision medicine may influence our thinking about and attitudes towards disability, and disabled people, in the future.
On Friday 10 March, Jackie continued this discussion in a workshop with members of Columbia's interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Social Difference.
published on: 18 April 2017