The Parallax of Personalized Medicine: A Critical, Socio-Medical Analysis of the Trajectory of Pharmacogenomics and Genome Wide Association Studies
Sheppard, Imanni K.
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While neoteric medical technologies in the United States are heralded as fundamental to medical progress, they may simultaneously work to facilitate the victimization of people who do not have access to that progress. For example, the use of race and racialization as molecular and biological concepts in genomic based scientific and medical processes like pharmacogenomics and Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS) may further perpetuate medical inequity, health disparities, and discrimination. Thus, it is important that we (in the medical community) acknowledge and delegitimize the use of race and racialization in science and medicine in order to help mitigate their potential socio-medical impact. When we, in the medical community, actively work to deconstruct and decentralize the use of race and racialization in science and medicine we may also begin to delegitimize their associated medical and socio-medical health disparities. To this end, my dissertation is a critical analysis of the trajectory of pharmacogenomics and Genome Wide Association Studies—keeping in mind the potential socio-medical affects of their use of race and racialization as molecular and biological concepts. My examination was done through the triangulation of qualitative research with an appraisal of the historical and contemporary medical, socio-medical, and biomedical epistemologies, philosophy, and practices of the scientific, and medical endeavor.