RRH - The Genetic Oracle: Prevention at all Costs?

Genetics will allow us to take preventive measures against diseases. Should those measures be mandatory to safe healthcare costs or will we loose the freedom to pursue our own lifestyles?

Sequencing a whole human genome is already common practice – and soon it will be cheap enough to do it as a standard for everybody! Based on your genome, your doctor will estimate how long you live, for which diseases you are prone and which preventive measures are most eligible for you. Moreover, with an epigenetic update, your doctor can even control your lifestyle and let you know whether your drinking habits, food intake and sleeping behavior could be riskful for your health. Should genetics-grounded preventive measures be mandatory to reasonably safe healthcare costs? Or will we thereby exchange the freedom of our lifestyle choices for a long, healthy life? Join us for our journey through the rabbit hole and find out!

The white rabbit of the evening: Bettina Zimmermann is a PhD student at the Institute for Biomedical Ethics at the University of Basel where she investigates the factors influencing public interest and attitudes regarding genetic testing. She's also the head of our reatch-Regiogruppe in Basel.