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Sarah Wordsworth  Grant Vallance


Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module the student will be able to:

  1. Identify, explain and apply different ethical principles such as confidentiality, autonomy, informed consent and justice to scenarios within precision cancer medicine.
  2. Apply different theoretical, value and policy-making approaches to real life issues and case studies in precision medicine. Reflect critically on the relationship between personal values and societal values in the context of emerging genomic technologies and precision medicine
  3. Apply skills in reasoning (including methods of ethical argumentation, conceptual and logical analysis and case comparison) in order to analyse ethical issues in precision cancer medicine and to make sound ethical judgements within different practical decision-making contexts.
  4. Identify those clinical pathways in their own specialty or field of practice where the use of genomic investigation/techniques may be beneficial to patients; be able to argue for those benefits and understand potential obstacles to implementation.
  5. Appreciate the role of ‘quality of life’ studies in outcome evaluation
  6. Make informed choices between treatment options based on measures of disease burden such as quality-adjusted life years. 
  7. Critique different types of economic evaluation in the context of precision medicine.

Indicative Content

This module will deal with the ethical, regulatory and health care payer challenges. This includes diagnostics accreditation, health economics, health technology assessment (understanding how to use health care resources in an effective and cost-effective manner) and ethical considerations in research and implementation of precision medicine.

  • Ethical principles for precision medicine including but not limited to privacy, confidentiality, autonomy, consent, justice.
  • Comparison of clinical ethics and research ethics situated in the context of precision medicine.
  • The balance of ethical principles with respect to individuals and populations/society in the context of precision medicine.
  • Understanding ethical principles in the context of complexity and uncertainty.
  • Economic models in genomic medicine
  • Selection of appropriate economic models and understanding of their effect on the public health
  • Summary, critical analysis and dissemination of results of appropriate tests
  • Justification of economic based decisions in the field of genomics.