you're reading...

The Ethics of Genetics, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, 3rd December 2012

Bobbie Farsides and Sue Eckstein invited me to contribute to a conference for fifth year medical students at Brighton and Sussex Medical School. It was good to be back there fourteen months after the Self-portrait without Breasts project launched at BSMS in October last year.

I was delighted and honoured to present the poems and photographs and to talk about the project to about a hundred and fifty medical students, alongside presentations from Mike Parker, Professor of Bioethics and Director of the Ethox Centre, University of Oxford; Rosamund Scott, Professor of Medical Law and Ethics, King’s College London; Gail Davey, Reader in Global Health, BSMS; Nina Hallowell, Programme Lead, Foundation for Genomics and Population Health, Cambridge; Anneke Lucassen, Professor of Clinical Genetics, University of Southampton.

It was a riveting day. Not only did I learn an enormous amount about the research currently going on in genetic medicine, and about the challenges and complexities of its clinical application, but I also experienced first hand the intelligence, compassion, curiosity and utter commitment of the people who will be tomorrow’s doctors. They are as impressive as their educators.

I came away with a strong sense that the genetic medicine of the future will be absolutely about teamwork between patients and their families, extended families, genetics clinicians, medical practitioners and researchers – we’re all in it together, that’s for sure. And it will be about sharing knowledge, views and feelings, thinking our way through the many ethical issues towards what is the best course of action in each case.

As someone who has had to think hard about inherited disease, I am delighted to be able to play a role in discussions about choices and their implications, feelings and their expression, bodies and their mutability. As a writer, I am thrilled that my work leads me to such interesting places.


About Clare Best

I am Clare Best – poet, writer, teacher of creative writing. My first career was as a fine bookbinder. I've also worked as a bookseller, and for many years as an editor. Poetry publications: Treasure Ground (HappenStance 2009), Excisions (Waterloo Press 2011), Breastless (Pighog Press 2011), CELL (Frogmore Press 2015), Springlines (Little Toller 2017)


3 thoughts on “The Ethics of Genetics, Brighton and Sussex Medical School, 3rd December 2012

  1. So lovely to read something inspirational about the future of medicine.

    Posted by Helena Nelson | December 9, 2012, 6:14 pm
  2. Great to bring together writers, academics and students and for everyone to think outside the box!

    Posted by mariajastrzebska | December 10, 2012, 12:35 pm

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Older posts

Clare on Twitter

%d bloggers like this: