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Genetics white paper heralds “a revolution in health care”

BMJ 2003; 326 doi: (Published 26 June 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;326:1413
  1. Kathryn Godfrey
  1. London

    A vision of a future NHS offering personalised health care that is based on a person's genetic profile was painted in the government's genetics white paper, announced this week.

    Embedded Image

    Socks belonging to cytogeneticists at Guy's Hospital, London, arranged as a human karyotype. The artwork was produced by Gina Glover, artist in residence at Guy's department of clinical genetics, where her work is to become a permanent exhibition

    The health secretary, John Reid, told the House of Commons: “Genetics promises a more personalised approach to health care, with interventions tailored to each person's own genetic profile.” He proclaimed, “We are standing on the threshold of a revolution in health care.”

    An estimated six out of ten people will, by the age of 60, develop a disease that is at least partially genetically determined. The white paper lays out a future NHS where patients are routinely …

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