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Personalised Medicine and You... Return of Eugenics

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posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 12:11 AM
So what is personalized medicine?

Personalized Medicine is the concept that managing a patient's health should be based on the individual patient's specific characteristics, including age, gender, height/weight, diet, environment, etc. Recent developments in genetic testing allow the development of "Genomic Personalized Medicine" and Predictive Medicine, which is the combination of comprehensive genetic testing with proactive, personalized preventive medicine. Personalized medicine is not solely about genomics, however, as personalized medicine is about you, the health consumer. Personalized medicine also allows your health care provider, such as your physician, to focus their attention on what makes you you, instead of abiding by generalities.

Many people (particularly organisations involved in genomic sequencing) are trying to transform the Personalized Medicine discussion away from the consumer and onto genomics. This has led to comments such as the following contribution in this definition: Personalized medicine the concept that information about a patient's genotype or gene expression profile could be used to further tailor medical care to an individual's needs. Such information could be used to help stratify disease status, select between different medications and/or tailor their dosage, provide a specific therapy for an individual's disease, or initiate a preventative measure that is particularly suited to that patient at the time of administration. Several examples of approaches to personalized medicine have been established in medical practice, but in general the genotype-centered approach is not yet in widespread use clinically. It is currently debated whether such "personalized medicine" offers significant advantages over traditional clinical approaches that combine an individual's personal medical history, family history, and data from imaging, laboratory, and other tests.

Wikipedia source

So lets hear from someone who is pushing for personalized medicine to be based on genomic sequencing:

Craig Venter who is the founder for the Institute for Genomic Research and made the statement last year that :

"Race-based medicine doesn't have any real basis in science,"

But interestingly went on to say

"You can look at somebody's skin colour, but it doesn't necessarily tell you much about the rest of their genome or how they'll respond to drugs or which drugs they'll respond to.’

It is widely accepted that biological differences dictate how diseases work between racial groups. For example, a study released by the American Heart Association in 2004 showed that African Americans responded better to a heart failure pill BiDil than Caucasians. Southeast Asians have a higher incidence of lactose intolerance than any other racial group. African-American men also have a 60% greater risk of having prostate cancer and are two to three times more likely.

The genome is being used to resurrect race based medicine. The same race based medicine which was the demise of the heart drug BiDil in 2005. So now the pharmas are going to re introduce the practice under a new fancy name i.e. personalized medicine. Hey who wouldn’t want a medicine made specially for them which will address their problems and eliminate side effects. Sounds too good to be true – well my friend it is true but there is a catch.

Call it what you may but it is pure and simple Eugenics. Here is a definition according to Wikipedia:

The term eugenics is often used to refer to movements and social policies influential during the early twentieth century. In a historical and broader sense, eugenics can also be a study of "improving human genetic qualities." It is sometimes broadly applied to describe any human action whose goal is to improve the gene pool. Some forms of infanticide in ancient societies, present-day reprogenetics, preemptive abortions and designer babies have been (sometimes controversially) referred to as eugenic.

At the start of the 20th century, British scientist Francis Galton coined the term eugenics, from the Greek eugenes, for “well-born.” He later distinguished two major kinds of eugenics, positive and negative. “Positive eugenics” was preferential breeding of socalled “superior individuals” in order to improve the genetic stock of the human race. “Negative eugenics” meant discouraging or legally prohibiting reproduction by individuals thought to have “inferior” genes and was to be achieved by counseling or by sterilization, either voluntary or enforced.

Galton, who was Charles Darwin’s cousin, described eugenics as the science of improving stock…to give the more suitable races a better chance of prevailing speedily over the less suitable. He founded the Eugenics Society in 1907 “to spread eugenic teaching and bring human parenthood under the domination of eugenic ideals.”

[edit on 14/6/09 by 04326]

posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 12:26 AM
Genetic research is currently the domain of biotech firms and whether one likes to admit it or not are commercial business and these corporations by their very nature, guided by their bottom line. And if the bottom line is the main consideration in developing and driving forward anything then ethics are out the window and this is what troubles me.

Now one can argue that the majority of work is being carried out by well meaning scientists who like you and me work hard for their keep and have a moral conscious. But this argument forgets that the majority of our brothers and sisters are mere sheeple with little authority to deal with and control the moral and social implications of their work.

The insanity of the Cold War pales by comparison to what the military-industrial complex and the scientific-technological elite have in the pipeline for the 21st century.. The weapons and the control mechanisms of the near future will be infinitely more diverse and creative.

Although I have attempted to bring attention to the fact that all babies born in the United States automatically have their DNA stored in databases without need of consent (link to thread) no one in the mainstream seems to care. The apathy is very troublesome because it does not take a genius to put two and two together. A report by Citizens’ Council on Health Care has spelt it out for us:

“It is not hard to imagine the day when any discovered but non-symptomatic condition could become a ‘pre-existing condition’ for which private insurers would not pay. The eugenic implications are obvious. Thus, the growing collection of genetic test results and newborn DNA could easily enable a eugenics agenda on the part of government agencies and private industry,” it said.

In an interview at the time the dispute over newborns’ DNA in Minnesota was heating up, Brase said it’s no longer just about diabetes, asthmas and cancer.

“It’s also about behavioral issues,” she said.

“In England they decided they should have doctors looking for problem children, and have those children reported, and their DNA taken in case they would become criminals,” she said.

In fact, published reports in the U.K. note that senior police forensics experts believe genetic samples should be studied, because it may be possible to identify potential criminals as young as age 5.

“If we have a primary means of identifying people before they offend, then in the long-term the benefits of targeting younger people are extremely large,” Gary Pugh, director of forensics at Scotland Yard, was quoted saying. “You could argue the younger the better. Criminologists say some people will grow out of crime; others won’t. We have to find who are possibly going to be the biggest threat to society.”

So what does this all mean?

Private health insurance companies will tighten their monopoly over healthcare & dictate who is deemed suitable to survive in the long run

The private health insurance industry has taken over the medical system of most of the developed world. One only needs to look at what has become in America – the richest country in the world where people cannot afford to go to the doctor or are refused treatment if they do not have health insurance. A basic human right is being denied because of corporate greed. But if the era of personalized medicine dawns then the fat cats of the insurance world will be getting fatter whilst the people suffer.

Continuing on the American example, it is a little known fact that Doctor’s and medical practitioners are ‘employed’ by the insurance companies. Think about it for a moment – you are sick and you go to see the doctor who will take your insurance details and treat you. Now you take your script and go home. In the meantime, the doctor then spends 15 minutes filling out forms for the insurance company so he/she can get paid. The doctor may be self employed but the final pay cheque is coming from the insurer. If the insurer does not want to pay or wants to dispute the treatment then there is not pay cheque. Hence the employer is the insurance company and the worker is the doctor.

Two decades ago, the top 10 insurers covered about 27% of all insured Americans. Today, four companies -- WellPoint Inc., UnitedHealth Group, Aetna Inc. and Cigna Corp. -- cover more than 85 million people, almost half of all those with private insurance.
A 2007 survey by the American Medical Assn. found that in two-thirds of metropolitan areas, one health insurer controlled at least 50% of the market. In the Los Angeles area, two companies dominate -- Kaiser Permanente and WellPoint's Anthem Blue Cross.
As a result, doctors and hospitals have little negotiating power and few options when an insurer rejects a bill. Some physicians are dropping out of insurance networks or turning away new patients. Others have moved to cash-only practices. Some smaller hospitals and solo-practice physicians say they are being driven out of business entirely.
The insurance industry lays much of the blame for billing problems on doctors and hospitals. Insurers question or reject claims "when we don't get full information or when we get duplicate bills," said Karen Ignagni, president of America's Health Insurance Plans, the industry's lobbying arm in Washington. "Efficiency is a two-way street."

Link to article
Now consider a world where certain medicines are more expensive than others. Nothing new you say – but please reconsider this. What apart from public pressure is to stop insurers from charging two or three times for treatments of lactose intolerance for example to someone who has a certain type of DNA compared to someone else. Lactose intolerance is significantly higher in people of south east asian heritage cf the rest of the population, and if they are considered a higher risk factor then they will have to pay more. Same applies to more serious diseases such as cancer etc.

So essentially, Eugenics sponsored openly by the state may be dead but it certainly does loom in our future.

[edit on 14/6/09 by 04326]

posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 06:54 AM
Feel free to add to the current discussion on this topic found here:



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