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Hippocrates famously advised doctors 'it is far more important to know what person the disease has than what disease the person has'. Yet 2,500 years later, 'personalised medicine', based on individual genetic profiling and the achievements of genomic research, claims to be revolutionary. In this book, experts from a wide range of disciplines critically examine this claim. They expand the discussion of personalised medicine beyond its usual scope to include many other highly topical issues, including: human nuclear genome transfer ('three-parent IVF'), stem cell-derived gametes, private umbilical cord blood banking, international trade in human organs, biobanks such as the US Precision Medicine Initiative, direct-to-consumer genetic testing, health and fitness self-monitoring.Although these technologies often prioritise individual choice, the original ideal of genomic research saw the human genome as 'the common heritage of humanity'. The authors question whether personalised medicine actually threatens this conception of the common good.
Continuous sedation until death (sometimes referred to as terminal sedation or palliative sedation) is an increasingly common practice in end-of-life care. However, it raises numerous medical, ethical, emotional and legal concerns, such as the reducing or removing of consciousness (and thus potentially causing 'subjective death'), the withholding of artificial nutrition and hydration, the proportionality of the sedation to the symptoms, its adequacy in actually relieving symptoms rather than simply giving onlookers the impression that the patient is undergoing a painless 'natural' death, and the perception that it may be functionally equivalent to euthanasia. This book brings together contributions from clinicians, ethicists, lawyers and social scientists, and discusses guidelines as well as clinical, emotional and legal aspects of the practice. The chapters shine a critical spotlight on areas of concern and on the validity of the justifications given for the practice, including in particular the doctrine of double effect.