Geenitiedon lupaus ja yksilöllistyvä terveyspolitiikka

The promise of genetic knowledge

Genetic knowledge has brought with it promises of making illness and deviance, as well as health and normality, knowledgeable and governable in a more profound way. The far-reaching effect of human genetics has become evident in particular in the field of medicine: in efforts to find genetic causes of ever more diseases and to develop new medicines and gene therapy. Here, genetic knowledge and the medical promises it offers are discussed in the context of the welfare policy of the 1990's. I explore the ways in which new biomedical technologies are viewed and legitimated in relation to the reorientation of welfaristic health services towards im­prov­ed cost-effectiveness. The article shows that genetic knowledge is viewed as a means to enhance individual capacities to govern one's own life and to make risk assessments concerning the health of one's own and one's potential children. As a conclusion, the pro­ble­matics of promise is discussed from the perspective of government through freedom and the production of spectacles of self-control.

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