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Will ‘precision medicine’ be strangled in red tape?



Chris Seper writes in MedCity News that the biggest impediment to “precision medicine” is bureaucracy.

“You can have your consumer-driven controversies about genetic testing. Precision medicine has a bigger question to answer, such as: ‘Which lab should get that test so everyone can get paid?”’

“On the front lines of genetic testing — from the doctors who want the tests to the genetic counselors who seek a bigger role in determining the path of precision medicine to the health insurance companies who have to pay for it — the battle is all about the red tape.

“Can we get everyone on the same page when we define ‘medically necessary’ genetic testing?

“Does the doctor know if the lab getting the genetic test has a contract with the patient’s health insurance company?

“’Who, in this age of transparency, is responsible for figuring it out?”’ asked Timothy Moss, M.D., a member of the Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Personalized Genetic Healthcare.”

One question was: Shouldn’t the genetic counselor be able to veto any genetic test?


Religious faith and medicine




Chiduzie Madubata, M.D., a cardiologist in Philadelphia and an Anglican, writes about reconciling his Christian faith with the complexities of providing healthcare. Here’s one of his observations:

“{T}to be honest, there were not many times that I had to question the tenets of my faith growing up since I did not have to deal with much in the way of ethical dilemmas.

“However, as I started to take college courses in the sciences and went through medical school, I started to encounter certain ethical dilemmas in medicine that demanded that I start to think more critically about these situations. Discussion about stem cell research, genetic testing, euthanasia, and abortion among other things became more relevant to me as I heard public debates between scientific communities and communities of faith. The science would indicate one way to think about things, and my faith seemingly indicated another way to think about things, and at times, these would come into conflict.”

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