17 de novembre 2022

Personalized, stratified or precision medicine: the expectations behind a concept

 Contested futures: envisioning “Personalized,” “Stratified,” and “Precision” medicine

Rather than pinpointing which of these terms is the “correct” one or delineating the “true” meaning of each, to know how we should critically approach the concepts we need an awareness of the discursive contexts in which they are mobilized. This is because the context ultimately structures the social and ethical implications that “personalization,” “stratification,” or “precision” will have for medicine and healthcare systems, and for different stakeholders. As big health data, predictive and systems-level analysis are, themselves, emergent phenomena, the terminology applied in the discursive spaces around these new biotechnologies and approaches cannot be abstracted from their context. Rather, when we apply the “personalization,” “stratification,” and “precision” terms, we invoke particular associations, connotations, “hopes” and “truths” that are part of pre-existing epistemologically and ethically loaded discourses that reflect broader and weightier struggles over what is a good future.