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Centre for Law, Medicine and Life Sciences

Faculty of Law

Dr Jeffrey Skopek

"Personalized Rationing: The Law and Ethics of Differentiation”

Precision Medicine: Legal and Ethical Challenges

University of Hong Kong

7 April 2016



Some of the greatest challenges that we will face in implementing precision medicine will arise from the ways in which increased precision destabilizes foundational categories and concepts in our law and ethics.  This can be seen in the pharmacogenomic stratification of patient populations, which will give rise to new and difficult questions about the conditions in which an individual patient should be able to differentiate himself from a group of similar patients in order to gain access to a treatment that is not available to the group—and conversely, the conditions in which a patient should be able to resist being differentiated from a group in order to avoid losing access to a treatment.  In this presentation, I will identify and analyze some previously unrecognized challenges concerning the law and ethics of differentiation in this area.   In doing so, I will highlight the fact that advances precision medicine will both benefit and harm patients, moving us closer not only to personalized treatment, but also to personalized rationing.

Thursday, 7 April, 2016 - 10:30