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MAJDIK, Zoltan P. and PLATT, Carrie Anne

Spring 2012, 42:2, pages 120-143

Selling Certainty: Genetic Complexity and Moral Urgency in Myriad Genetics BRACAnalysis Campaign

This essay analyzes Myriad Genetics marketing of the BRACAnalysis genetic test to argue that the campaign creates a unique and problematic understanding of choice- and decision making in the domain of applied genetic biotechnologies. The essay identifies how the campaign creates a subject position that invites audiences into a double bind of action and moral obligation, where specific decisions to make powerful medical choices becomes circumscribed as a necessity. A reduction and oversimplification of technical, scientific complexity replaces deliberative processes and phronetic understandings of complex situations and exigencies with intuition and feeling as warrants for action; in turn, a resultant appearance of empowerment becomes dialectically invested in an invocation of moral urgency and necessity.

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