My name is Marsha Michie, and I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioethics at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. I am an anthropologist and empirical bioethicist with extensive experience in ethnography, qualitative health research, and qualitative analysis. Much of my work has focused on the experiences and decision-making of patients and research participants, specifically in the context of genetic/genomic research, technologies, and diagnoses. Much of my current research examines the translational process, from research to clinical care, for new technologies for prenatal cell-free DNA (cfDNA) screening, stem cell gene transfer, and gene modification, with a particular emphasis on the perspectives of patients and patient advocates. I am also exploring issues related to infant mortality and maternal health, with a particular interest in health disparities related to race and other social determinants of health.
My research on patients and research participants has dealt with issues in informed decision-making and research participation, including the ways that patient/participants’ decisions and their understanding of their own role in the research enterprise may be shaped by therapeutic misconceptions, assumptions about duty and social contracts, identification with a particular health condition (especially inherited conditions that affect multiple family members), and concerns for family members and future reproduction.
I am currently building on my past research to explore the intersections of identity, genetics, and disability, recognizing that all humans are on a continuum between ability and disability—and that our identification with degrees of (dis)ability vary across different aspects of our bodies and selves; change with respect to domains of family and community; and evolve over a lifetime of development and aging.
More information about me:
Case Western Reserve University Bioethics Department profile page
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) profile page
NIH (National Institutes of Health) bibliography