Ethical and Social Challenges of Genomic and Precision Medicine

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Ethical and Social Challenges of Genomic and Precision Medicine

Course Details

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FREE

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  • TBA

Course Provider

Coursera online courses
Coursera's online classes are designed to help students achieve mastery over course material. Some of the best professors in the world - like neurobiology professor and author Peggy Mason from the University of Chicago, and computer science professor and Folding@Home director Vijay Pande - will supplement your knowledge through video lectures. They will also provide challenging assessments, interactive exercises during each lesson, and the opportunity to use a mobile app to keep up with yo...
Coursera's online classes are designed to help students achieve mastery over course material. Some of the best professors in the world - like neurobiology professor and author Peggy Mason from the University of Chicago, and computer science professor and Folding@Home director Vijay Pande - will supplement your knowledge through video lectures. They will also provide challenging assessments, interactive exercises during each lesson, and the opportunity to use a mobile app to keep up with your coursework. Coursera also partners with the US State Department to create “learning hubs” around the world. Students can get internet access, take courses, and participate in weekly in-person study groups to make learning even more collaborative. Begin your journey into the mysteries of the human brain by taking courses in neuroscience. Learn how to navigate the data infrastructures that multinational corporations use when you discover the world of data analysis. Follow one of Coursera’s “Skill Tracks”. Or try any one of its more than 560 available courses to help you achieve your academic and professional goals.

Provider Subject Specialization
Humanities
Sciences & Technology
4724 reviews

Course Description

Knowledge linking genomics to health and disease is rapidly expanding. Translation of this knowledge into clinical and public health practice offers promising opportunities but also raises a host of ethical, legal, social, and policy questions. Using case examples, this inter-disciplinary course will explore the challenges of genomic and precision medicine.
Reviews 7/10 stars
1 Review for Ethical and Social Challenges of Genomic and Precision Medicine

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Ricardo Teixeira profile image
Ricardo Teixeira profile image
7/10 starsCompleted
  • 86 reviews
  • 77 completed
5 years ago
I kind of enjoyed taking this course, but I must confess I thought about quitting several times. I expected the course to be more about ethics and less about long explanations of conditions and their testing. Very often less time was devoted to the ethical issues raised by precision medicine than to the medicine itself. There was also an approach to defining the "ethical issues" that I personally found odd. For example, it was argued that testing for conditions has induced physical problems in some people as one issue of too much testing (even when paid for by health services consumers and not taxpayers); but there was no critical analysis of this assertion. How often does that happen? In 1% of all tests? 0.1%? 0.00001%? And shouldn't the analysis of the acceptability of that risk be left to patients? In this course there's a lot of talk about "risk" but not enough about how relevant those risks are. My personal feeling after taking... I kind of enjoyed taking this course, but I must confess I thought about quitting several times. I expected the course to be more about ethics and less about long explanations of conditions and their testing. Very often less time was devoted to the ethical issues raised by precision medicine than to the medicine itself. There was also an approach to defining the "ethical issues" that I personally found odd. For example, it was argued that testing for conditions has induced physical problems in some people as one issue of too much testing (even when paid for by health services consumers and not taxpayers); but there was no critical analysis of this assertion. How often does that happen? In 1% of all tests? 0.1%? 0.00001%? And shouldn't the analysis of the acceptability of that risk be left to patients? In this course there's a lot of talk about "risk" but not enough about how relevant those risks are. My personal feeling after taking the course was that, because of the bias towards finding potential risks everywhere, it presented a very grim picture. The last lecture itself is an exercise in futurology arguing that big data is useless - oh, I'm sorry, "raising the issue that there is the risk that efforts towards using big data are inefficient". If you put it like that it's just a risk, right? Yet, like all courses in social science, you need to always hold your defenses up. If you always maintain your alert levels high, you will learn a lot - and this course has a lot on its side. If you hold on to your skeptical instincts, you will end up enjoying it (I know I did, in a way). I do not regret sticking to it when I felt like quitting, because I feel like now I'm much more informed in this subject, whether I agreed or disagreed with the ideas put forth. The workload is quite heavy - seven quizzes and three (!!!) writing assignments. The worst part is that the evaluation system is totally irrational: you can assign a 0, a 5 or a 10 to your peers. Yes, only those three options and nothing in between. I had to give out 10's to almost everybody even though there were significant differences in quality between the essays. And you don't even get the chance to provide feedback to the other student. Overall, I recommend you check it if you have the time. If your interest is ethics, you won't learn anything about it here. If your interest is how precision medicine is seen by social scientists, then this is the course for you.
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