Citizen Scenarios for the Future of Personalized Medicine: A Participatory Scenario Process in Germany

By Cornelia R. Karger.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies

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Article: Electronic $US5.00

The rapid development of biomedicine could, in the future, facilitate a kind of medicine that identifies morbidity risks early, even before clinical symptoms occur, and that provides therapy options tailored to the needs of each patient. There is a growing call for a greater participation of the young generation in establishing future technological developments with due regard to their ethical, social and economic concerns. This article reports on the development and implementation of a citizen scenario workshop which was highly structured, moderated and supported by experts. For six months, 22 German participants in the European Youth Parliament developed four scenarios of personalized health care in 2025. The participants identified 25 driving factors that influence the future of personalized medicine in the German health care system and characterized the essential risks and chances of each scenario. Results and evaluation both show that as a participatory tool, the scenario method is suitable for fostering societal involvement in the debate about possible futures. The methodology employed is presented, followed by a detailed description of each of the four scenarios.

Keywords: Scenario Method, Participation, Personalized Medicine

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies, Volume 7, Issue 2, pp.1-16. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 340.236KB).

Cornelia R. Karger

Senior Scientist, Institute of Neurosciences and Medicine (INM-8), Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Jülich, Germany

Karger is interested in the empirical analysis of individual understanding, judgment and decision-making of different social actors with respect to scientific and technological innovations. Karger’s current research topics are present and future developments in medicine and neuroscience, and the use of different methods (e.g. scenario methods, focus groups, multi-attributes and participative processes) and their adaptations to the specific problem and context.