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At the point at which you can do something about it, then it becomes more relevant’: Informed consent in the pharmacogenetic clinic
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-07, 14:04 authored by Adam Hedgecoe
Sociological investigation of informed consent has generated rich and complex descriptions of the clinical encounter, often challenging the straightforward picture painted by medical ethicists. This paper builds on this work, drawing on ideas from the Sociology of Science and Technology, to explore informed consent issues surrounding the use of the drug Herceptin, widely cited as an example of a novel approach to drug development called pharmacogenetics. Drawing on qualitative semi-structured interviews with 25 UK-based breast cancer specialists, this paper explores Herceptin's disputed epistemological status, as an example of pharmacogenetics or as something out of the ordinary in terms of clinical practice. It considers how, in turn, this impacts on the way in which informed consent is sought and influenced by clinicians’ desire to protect patients from possibly distressing test results. It highlights the flexible, contingent and context dependent nature of informed consent in the clinical setting.
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Department affiliated with
- Anthropology Publications
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