genomics & society

Archive for July, 2012

Genetic Medicine with the Amish: not so plain and simple

Posted by martha k on July 9, 2012

In February, the journal Nature published a piece by science journalist Trisha Gura outlining the history and work of the Clinic for Special Children (CSC) in Strasburg, PA. The clinic and its physicians have been profiled a number of times in the media, including a piece on Dr. Morton published in Smithsonian Magazine that eventually led me to their door. My research among the Amish of Lancaster County investigates how their religious community and group identity impact the way Amish utilize healthcare, value varied medical approaches, appropriate technology, and understand the individual and social body. Like previous profiles, Gura’s article was well researched and touched on a number of the fascinating aspects of clinical care at CSC—including their tactic of stepping over the systemic partitions between research and clinical care in order to more effectively treat their patients. This team has shaped their practice of medicine to rise and meet their patient population, and their use of genomics has resulted in diagnoses and treatments becoming less costly, easier to comply with, and more culturally perceptive.

Becoming fluent in the subtleties of Anabaptist life in the Lancaster area allows the staff and physicians at CSC to practice real genomic medicine on the ground. Read the rest of this entry »

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