Francis Collins, Direktor der US-Gesundheitsbehörde National Institutes of Health, führt uns in seinem neuen Buch The Language of Life – DNA and the Revolution in Personalized Medicine durch diesen Umbruch. Wie er es ausdrückt, stehen wir „kurz vor einer wahren Revolution in der Medizin, einer Revolution, die verspricht, den traditionellen Ansatz der ‚Einheitsgröße für alle’ in eine wesentlich überzeugendere Strategie umzuwandeln, die jeden Einzelnen als einzigartiges Wesen betrachtet, das mit bestimmten Eigenschaften ausgestattet ist, und diese sollten den Leitfaden zur Erhaltung der persönlichen Gesundheit bilden. Doch muss man bereit sein, diese neue Welt anzunehmen.“

Diese richtungsweisende Veränderung hin zur personalisierten Genmedizin verspricht, jedem von uns Einblick in unsere ureigenste Identität – unser genetisches Selbst – zu gewähren und uns am Elixier des Lebens in Form von individuell zugeschnittenen Tests und Medikamenten nippen zu lassen. Doch können wir diesen Versprechungen wirklich Glauben schenken?

Die personalisierte Genmedizin ist nicht die einzige wichtige neue Entwicklung. Kommerzielle Unternehmen, wie private Blutbanken, bauschen die Einmaligkeit des Nabelschnurbluts von Babys auf. Enhancement-Technologien wie die tiefe Hirnstimulation – „Botox fürs Gehirn“ – verbreiten die Vorstellung, man hätte die Pflicht, das bestmögliche „Ich“ zu sein. Tatsächlich geht es in der modernen Biotechnologie immer mehr um „Ich“-Medizin, die angebliche Verschiedenheit der einzelnen Patienten dient dabei als „Marke“.

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