Discussion games: Personalised medicine

Game to engage in a dialogue | Down to the genes

Imagine if your doctor could determine your genetic profile from a sample of your saliva, to find out which diseases you have a higher risk of developing and to prescribe personalised preventive treatment with the exact dose you need for your personal profile. This could happen in the future thanks to advances in genomics. The more we discover about the genetic code, the more things we can use the information for in health care, which raises important legal, social and ethical questions. Who should have access to our genetic profile? How should personalised medicine be funded? How much information is too much?

How do we play this discussion game in the classroom? Students get into groups of 8 to 12 to discuss the issues on the cards and decide whether they "agree" or "disagree". At the end, the students have to put the cards in order from the ones they agree with most to the ones they agree with least. This order can then be compared between the different groups, which will open up the discussion to the rest of the group.

The game is intended to be played by people aged 15 to 21 and lasts around 60 to 90 minutes.

With bigger groups, this resource can be used to start off a free debate on the topic; alternatively, formats in which students work more formally can be used; the activity can also be done in smaller groups.

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