Building6 Museum Place, Cardiff University
Heather strange worked as a research assistant to Prof. Chadwick between June 2008 and December 2010. During this time she was involved in a number of projects which covered a broad range of topics including nursing ethics, biometrics, harmonisation in ethics, biometrics, sex selection, dignity and older people and reproductive ethics.
Heather recently secured funding for her PhD project ‘Women’s situated reasoning on emerging non-invasive prenatal diagnosis (NIPD) technologies’ from the Welsh Government’s National Institute for Social Care and Health Research (NISCHR).
NIPD is a novel technology for prenatal diagnosis which exploits the presence of Cell-free fetal Nucleic Acids (CffNA) in the maternal blood. NIPD is currently used to identify fetal sex in pregnancies that are at a high risk of X-chromosome linked disorders, and is also used to identify fetal blood group in pregnancies that are at high risk of certain complications. Several tests for Down’s syndrome are currently being trialled.
NIPD has strong potential to enhance current prenatal screening and diagnosis programmes: it offers the unique advantage of being both non-invasive and diagnostic, and it is capable of producing results at a very early stage of pregnancy. This project seeks to explore how the women who use, or may come to use this technology respond to its technological promise, how their experience of pregnancy might be altered by their encounters with NIPD, and what issues the routinisation of such technologies may be raise for those most closely associated with its use. Themes such as reproductive autonomy, medical paternalism, genetic determinism, abortion, eugenics, embodiment, equity of access to healthcare and the rights of people with disabilities will be central to the analysis of these questions.
Strange, H. (2010) 'Nonmedical sex selection: ethical issues', British Medical Bulletin Advanced Access, February 9th 2010. doi: 10.1093/bmb/ldq002
Strange, H., and Chadwick, R. (2009) 'The Ethics of Nonmedical Sex Selection', Health Care Analysis Online First, 29th September 2009. doi: 10.1007/s10728-009-0135-y.
Chadwick, R. and Strange, H., (2009) 'Harmonisation and Standardisation in Ethics and Governance: conceptual and practical challenges' in Widdows, H. and Mullen, C. (eds),The Governance of Genetic Information: Who Decides?, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.