IntroductionNIPD experts brought together by Egenis at Brocher Foundation
A symposium organised by Egenis researchers took place at the prestigious Brocher Foundation in Geneva last week.
‘New developments in non-invasive prenatal genetic testing: Ethical, legal and social implications’, was organised by Dr Susan Kelly and Dr Hannah Farrimond with Professor Mildred Cho, Director of the Centre for the Integration of Research on Genomics and Ethics (CIRGE), Stanford University, and Professor Sinuhe Hahn of University Hospital Basel.
The two-day symposium was attended by a international and multidisciplinary audience including representation from the World Health Organization. Topics covered included: emerging intellectual property issues; national and global health system impacts; and ethical, legal and social implications for reproductive decision-making following the introduction of non-invasive prenatal testing for Down Syndrome. The recent announcement by the biotechnology company Sequenom of their MaterniT21 test (a non-invasive prenatal test for Down Syndrome) in the United States gave impetus to an interesting and productive discussion. Outputs which are planned as a result of the meeting include a 'Brocher Symposium' position statement addressing the topics which arose, with a goal of informing responsible implementation of the technology in an international context, as well as an edited book.
The Brocher Foundation is a non-profit-making institution which exists to facilitate multidisciplinary study of the ethical, social and legal issues of medical research and new medical technologies.