Teaching resource: case studies in 'personalised healthcare'
This set of resources includes three case studies based on the Council's 2010 report on the ethics of ‘personalised healthcare'.
Personal genetic profiling- people can pay for a DNA-analysis service to find out their personal susceptibility to certain diseases and conditions
Buying medicines online - a range of medicines are available to order on the internet, either with, or without a prescription
Health information websites - the internet offers new ways for people to find and share health information, advice and diagnosis
Through starter activities and discussion questions across these case studies, the resources aim to help students to gain an understanding of the ethical values at play when people make choices regarding these interacting aspects of modern healthcare. Each case study includes lesson notes and suggested activities.
The materials have been designed for Key Stage 3 and above in science, ICT, PHSE and philosophy.
Gene technologies allow study and alteration of gene function in order to better understand organism function and to design new industrial and medical processes.
Biology and disease
Lifestyle: risk factors associated with coronary heart disease and cancers.
Impact of technology
Exploring how ICT changes the way we live our lives and has significant social, ethical and cultural implications.
Recognising issues of risk, safety and responsibility surrounding the use of ICT.
Recognising that information must not be taken at face value, but must be analysed and evaluated to take account of its purpose, author, currency and context.
Reviewing and reflecting critically on what they and others produce using ICT.
Practical and enquiry skills
Evaluate methods of collection of data and consider their validity and reliability as evidence.
Applications and implications of science
The use of contemporary scientific and technological developments and their benefits, drawbacks and risks.
How and why decisions about science and technology are made, including those that raise ethical issues, and about the social, economic and environmental effects of such decisions.
How uncertainties in scientific knowledge and scientific ideas change over time and about the role of the scientific community in validating these changes.
Freedom and autonomy
What should be the balance between individual rights and freedoms and social utility?
What might be the wider implications of the changing status of patient to consumer?
Does increase in consumer choice amount to an expansion of individual freedom? How might increases in individual freedoms and choices effect equality?
To what extent is the state justified in preventing individuals from engaging in certain activities for their own good?
To what extent should individuals take responsibility for themselves and what is the place for social welfare?
The role of the state
What areas of life should the state be concerned with?
Are there certain acts that should be regarded as a ‘private’ matter or must we consider the wider ramifications of our individual pursuits?
Economic wellbeing and financial wellbeing
Understanding risk in both positive and negative terms.
Understanding the need to manage risk in the context of financial and career choices.
Taking risks and learning from mistakes.
Understanding the economic and business environment.
Understanding the functions and uses of money.
Recognising that healthy lifestyles, and the wellbeing of self and others, depend on information and making responsible choices.
Understanding that our physical, mental, sexual and emotional health affect our ability to lead fulfilling lives and that there is help and support available when they are threatened.
Dealing with growth and change as normal parts of growing up.
Understanding risk in both positive and negative terms and understanding that individuals need to manage risk to themselves and others in a range of personal and social situations.
Appreciating that pressure can be used positively or negatively to influence others in situations involving risk.
Developing the confidence to try new ideas and face challenges safely, individually and in groups.
Read more about the Medical profiling and online medicine: the ethics of personalised healthcare in a consumer age report.