Personalised healthcare

New developments in medical profiling and online medicine are promised by their providers as leading to a new era of ‘personalised healthcare’.
These developments include direct-to-consumer personal genetic profiling and body imaging, and websites that provide health advice, storage of health records and medicines for sale. This report weighs up the benefits and harms, along with the ethical values that come into play.

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Research in pharmacogenetics investigates how differences in our genes can affect our response to medicines.

This report considers the implications for research and development of medicines, clinical practice and treatment, and the use and storage of genetic information.

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New resources for teachers: case studies in 'personalised healthcare'

The Council has published new teaching resources based on its report on the ethical issues arising from new types of ‘personalised healthcare'.

This set of resources includes three case studies:

  • 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

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Personalised healthcare - Launch seminar presentations

The following presentations were given by members of the Working Party at the launch seminar for 'Medical profiling and online medicine: the ethics of 'personalised healthcare' in a consumer age' on 12 October 2010.

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Personalised healthcare video

Christopher Hood and Nikolas Rose talk about the Nuffield Council on Bioethics' report on personalised healthcare

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Government should do more to help people who use online health services

The Government should do more to help people find trustworthy health websites and use online health services safely and effectively, says a new report on the ethics of ‘personalised healthcare’. The Nuffield Council on Bioethics warns that whilst online health information and services are convenient to use and extend choice, they could mislead, confuse or create unnecessary anxiety for the people who use them.

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Personal genetic profiling services lack evidence for claims

Direct-to-consumer personal genetic profiling services that claim to predict people’s health risks by analysing their DNA are often inconclusive and companies that sell them should provide better information about the evidence on which the results are based, says the Nuffield Council on Bioethics, in a new report on the ethics of so-called personalised healthcare services.

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'Personalised healthcare' - Key recommendations

New developments in medical profiling and online medicine can enable people to take more responsibility for their health and give them increased choice and control. These developments are promised by their providers as leading to a new era of ‘personalised healthcare’.

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Personalised healthcare - Chapter downloads

You can download the individual chapters of this report using the links below. (All files are PDFs and less than 320 KB)

Chapter 1 - Introduction

Chapter 2 - Historical and social context

Chapter 3 - Ethics

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