Doctor, doctor! It is time to get personal…
Is personalised medicine a good idea? Doctors say that, one day, when you are ill, they will use your genes to find the perfect treatment for you. However, not everyone is on board.
What happens when you get sick? Usually, you tell a doctor what is wrong. They use their training and experience to diagnose you. Then, they choose a way to treat the problem.
It has been this way for a long time — but it may soon change. Doctors are predicting a new era of “personalised medicine”.
Find out more
We are all born with different genes. These decide things like our height or eye colour.
Our genes also decide how we respond to certain medicines.
In a world with personalised medicine, doctors will use your genes to create the drugs that work best for you. You will be more likely to get better quicker and there will be fewer side-effects.
In the UK, the NHS is already using some forms of personalised medicine. Is it a good idea?
Yes! It is a great idea. Patients will not have to go through treatments that do not work. Doctors will save time and money. It is a win-win for everyone.
Not so fast! Personalised medicine works by looking at our genes. Doctors could find out a lot of other private information about us. We should be careful.
- Should personalised medicine be available to everyone?
- Look at the quotation by George Church at the end of this article. He says that our genes are not our destiny. What do you think he means? Can you list anything else that might help to decide who were are and what we become?
Some People Say...
“Your genetics is not your destiny.”George Church, American professor of genetics
What do you think?
- Find the illness or disease that someone has.
- Saying that something will happen in the future.
- A period of time.
- The things which decide what we look like and how our bodies work. We get our genes from our parents. Genes are made up of DNA.
- Unwanted effects of drugs or medicines. For example, some medicines might make us feel tired even though they also make us better.
- People who are being treated by a doctor.