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Law professor's article published in 'Personalized Medicine'


Gary Marchant
August 11, 2011

An article by Gary Marchant, Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law Lincoln Professor of Emerging Technologies, Law and Ethics, about the increasing vulnerability to liability that doctors are being exposed to from personalized medicine, has been published in the journal Personalized Medicine.

The article, “Physician liability: the next big thing for personalized medicine?” was co-authored by Douglas E. Campos-Outcalt, a clinical professor at the University of Arizona, and Rachel Lindor (Class of 2011), a student in the College of Law’s MD/JD program with Mayo Medical School.

The authors predict that liability is likely to be a major driver for the future direction and implementation of personalized medicine, which is defined as the prevention, detection and treatment of disease that takes into account a person’s unique genetic profile. They assert it will spur the adoption of genetic tests and other pharmacogenomic technologies, in some cases appropriately, and in other cases prematurely or as inefficient defensive medicine.

Physicians, they write, will be at the greatest risk due to their lack of defenses, limited experience in dealing with genetics and the growing disparities within the profession in implementing new medical technologies. Their liability often will be unpredictable and influential in changing medical practice, say the authors, emphasizing the importance of anticipating and attempting to prevent liability risks to minimize their disruptive impact.

Marchant is the Executive Director of the Center for Law, Science & Innovation at the College of Law. His research interests include the use of genetic information in environmental regulation, risk and the precautionary principle, legal aspects of personalized medicine, and regulation of emerging technologies such as nanotechnology, neuroscience and biotechnology. Marchant teaches courses in Environmental Law, Law, Science & Technology, Genetics and the Law, Biotechnology: Science, Law and Policy, and Nanotechnology Law & Policy. He is a Senior Sustainability Scientist in the ASU Global Institute of Sustainability, Associate Director of the ASU Origins Initiative and a professor in ASU’s School of Life Sciences.

Janie Magruder, Janie.magruder@asu.edu
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