Friday, May 18, 2007
Today I was called a genetic elitist. See Beware Doctors
Let me state equivocally. I am not a genetics elitist, I am simple man from the US who has seen his share of genetics tragedies. I would like to give you an example here.
A 45 year old man in my ICU dies after a Whipple. Why? He had let his weight loss go for several months. He hadn't seen a doctor for 3 years. He knew it could be his cancer, because the doctor told him FAP was cured by colectomy. Even better, he just had a one year old daughter. When I told the primary care physician there was PGD available, he said PG what?
I am not an elitist. I am trying to teach ALL comers genetics and personalized medicine. This guy who posted is clearly a disgruntled "ex-myriad" employee. I am sorry to have hurt his feelings so bad that he needed to call me an elitist. But I put it out here to serve as a warning.
These companies are coming and they are looking for your dollar under the guise of "genetic populism" Don't be fooled. If they were reasonable, then they would want to educate and empower physicians. They would help me design tools other than hand out cards which often get thrown in the trash. The education they choose to portray is not the NORM. "Your patient could have a 100% chance of developing hereditary cancer". That is alarmist!
The Gene Sherpa Says: Mr Wisconsin I am sorry, but you portray/assume too many people as genomic savvy. That is DANGEROUS! We have to keep our defenses up. I am here to guide you, to show you the risks of following the pack, testing without context, and acting on fear. The public needs to be wary of inappropriate testing. Especially until proper genomic non-discrimination law is passed
Lastly, I am hosting Gene Genie tomorrow. Stop by in the afternoon and see what I have in store for you :)