The welfare state driving “me” and “we” medicine – a critical discourse analysis

Morten Deleuran Terkildsen; Viola Burau; Ulla Væggemose; Nina Konstantin Nissen


This study explored the relationship between visions of personalized medicine, for-profit companies, and state governance in the context of an ongoing discussion of “me” vs. “we” medicine. It took its empirical departure in a Scandinavian welfare state, Denmark, and a discourse analysis was conducted based on interviews, documents, webpages, and media sources from vital public and private stakeholders.

The analysis demonstrated how the development of a program for personalized medicine in Denmark emerges as largely driven by the state. Although for-profit companies are involved, the Danish state governs the development of the personalized medicine program single-handedly. This results in a form of personalized medicine framed in both “me” and “we” discursive terms.

The analysis revealed that the welfare state plays a dominating role and controls these discourses articulating certain ideas of “me” and “we.” When compared to other studies, these results showed how the role of welfare states may still remain potent in the development of personalized medicine, and in the case of a Scandinavian welfare state, this challenges established views of a “me” vs. “we” dichotomy.

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The welfare state driving “me” and “we” medicine – a critical discourse analysis

Udgivelsesform Videnskabelige artikler
År 2020
Udgiver New Genetics and Society