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Peace & Justice Report at 9 a.m. – Precision Medicine and Rights Restoration

Written by on Saturday, July 29, 2017

This Wednesday, August 2, we’ll interview Dr. Stephen Harlin, Medical Director of the Harlin Center for Precision Medicine.  Precision medicine is an emerging field of medicine whose goal is to identify individual variations in our genes that might influence our likelihood of developing specific diseases.  Precision medicine takes an in-depth look at your DNA, the microorganisms living in your gut, disease biomarkers in your blood, and the choices you are making surrounding diet and lifestyle.  By combining genetic and clinical data, physicians can then prescribe a highly personalized health plan aimed at warding off the diseases that pose the greatest risk.
“Genetic and clinical data from millions of patients and thousands of clinical studies have accrued to the point that medical research now offers keen insights into how common genetic features can predispose to various diseases. The susceptibility to heart disease, stroke, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration, and certain cancers can often be identified before there are symptoms,” Dr. Harlin says.  The basic principle of precision medicine is that research-based strategies that target the causal mechanisms of disease can be prescribed before many diseases gain traction. We’ll also talk about the benefits of a whole food plant-based diet.
Then we’ll talk to Frank Askin, General Counsel Emeritus on the national ACLU board of directors. We’ll discuss the Rights Restoration movement in Florida, a  campaign to restore voting rights to “returning citizens” the new term for ex-felons who have paid all their debts to society.

Florida has one of the most punitive disenfranchisement policies in the country, permanently barring all citizens with felony convictions from voting unless they individually apply to the state Office of Executive Clemency for rights restoration. 

This policy bars more than 1.6 million Floridians – including more than one in five African-Americans in the state – from the polls. Florida has the highest disenfranchisement rate in the country.
Read more about the historical roots and current impact of this policy in Florida: An Outlier in Denying Voting Rights.