Consumer Medicine

image of Consumer Medicine

The contributions in this book all address an important area relating to the delivery of medical services, namely the development of consumer medicine. The changing dynamics of consumer medicine are explored through two perspectives: genetic self-testing and cross-border medical treatment. Both genetic self-testing and cross-border medical treatment offer a number of opportunities, both for producers and consumers of goods and services. At the same time, however, a number of important questions arise as to the limits and regulations that should be in place to protect consumers and patients, and assure that the products and services that are being offered are of good quality and do not offer false or misleading information as to their efficacy or significance in helping patients and consumers. The role of the state and supra-national organizations is by no means self-evident within this changing environment in that on the one hand, this process has been supported by these same authorities, and on the other hand, they are also trying to control and limit the extent to which it develops and undermines their sovereignty. This dual role has created tensions between the development of consumer medicine and the consequences that authorities must deal with as a result of this development.



Me, My Genes and Us - Personal Experiences With Gene Tests, and Some Sociological Observations

This article discusses my personal experiences with genetic tests. As a journalist, I got the opportunity to take a personal genetic test from the decodeme website in order to write about this new service for Danish newspapers. So, although I am a theoretical biologist by training, my task will be to take the perspective of the consumer and to convey some of the thoughts and feelings people may have when deciding to take one of these personal genetic tests offered by different companies. Some of the questions I want to try to answer are: What do these tests tell us right now? What do they do to us? And what kind of social expectations might be created around this brave new world of genomics?


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