The disparate impact of COVID on minority communities in the U.S. has raised tricky questions about the possible role of poverty and discrimination in COVID mortality as well as the possible role of genetics. In 2015, the Obama administration launched the All of Us Research Program, designed to collect medical and genetic information from a million Americans by 2025 in order to help untangle the role of genetics in medical outcomes and speed the development of precision medicine, therapies individualized to a patient's unique biology. Minority communities, many of which have high rates of heart disease and other factors that put them at higher risk for COVID complications, have often been inadequately represented in medical research and would presumably stand to benefit from precision medicine. But not all see it that way. The Navajo Nation, for example, prohibits participation in genetic research, citing religious beliefs, history of abuse by the medical establishment, and the likelihood that their DNA will be mined for the benefit of others. This article from The Washington Post Magazine looks at the ethical issues involved from the perspective of a Navajo geneticist: www.washingtonpost.com/magazine/2020/11/23/many-scientists-believe-that-dna-holds-cure-disease-that-poses-problem-some-native-americans
Leave a Reply.
Blog sharing news about geography, philosophy, world affairs, and outside-the-box learning
This blog also appears on Facebook: