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Personalized MedicineEmpowered Patients in the 21st Century?$
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Barbara Prainsack

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781479814879

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479814879.001.0001

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Beyond Individualism

Beyond Individualism

Chapter:
(p.135) 6 Beyond Individualism
Source:
Personalized Medicine
Author(s):

Barbara Prainsack

Publisher:
NYU Press
DOI:10.18574/nyu/9781479814879.003.0006

Although dichotomies such as online versus offline and for-profit versus not-for-profit, have been challenged by data-driven personalized medicine, a dichotomy that is still intact is that between self-interest and care for others. It is rooted in the dominant Western understanding of persons as (ideally) autonomous, independent, and rational individuals. This chapter argues that such an understanding of persons creates tangible problems in medical practice and research, and it leads to a vision of personalization that could be seen as fostering ruthless individualism. The chapter proposes ways to overcome this unproductive conflation of personhood with individualism in medicine. It explores how personalized medicine could help to bring personal interests and social solidarity closer together.

Keywords:   individualism, rational individuals, solidarity

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