Friday, March 28, 2008

Town Hall Invitation

Because of my blogging on health and community involvement, I've been invited to a town hall on the possibility of a federally funded "biobank."

My first thought was wow, who me? Then, why of course me. Then, what the hell do I know about the implications of a genetic biobank? Well, I guess a way to find out would be to go. I'd have to ask to leave work early that day.

The Genetics and Public Policy Center at Johns Hopkins University is holding these meetings in just 5 cities.

The local coordinator who sent me the email pointed me to two articles about the Kansas town hall, here and here.

What do you all think?

As I attend the series Unnatural Causes, I'm learning so many ways in which environment plays a key role in health regardless of genetics. Yet, if predispositions can be determined, some pre-emptive medicine might cost a lot less in the long run, thus the usefulness of a genetic biobank for research. That's not even to be begin to look at how such a database could go Horribly Wrong for those who haven't any power.

We can't get single payer national health care. I'd like to see that first. Who will this biobank end up benefiting? With politics as it is now, I can only think it will benefit those with power and money.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

from the Kansas City Star article:

Asked if the biobank project should be done, 73 percent said definitely or probably yes. Thirteen percent said definitely no.


People at the meeting were a bit less enthusiastic about participating themselves in a biobank project: 57 percent said they definitely or probably would.

It's easier to be charitable with somebody else's privacy than with your own, I guess. But it strikes me that this is a diversion from the ethical issues associated with the possiblity of genetic discrimination. Intentional misdirection? Dunno.