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Genomics Forum · Events

Non-invasive prenatal genetic testing - a moral maze?

ESRC Festival of Social Science   16.03.2010






Speakers, or 'witnesses', will include Helen Wallace, director of GeneWatch UK, Jane Fisher, director of the charity ARC (Antenatal Results and Choices), and Susan Kelly and Hannah Farrimond of Egenis.

Organised by

EgenisUniversity of ExeterByrne HouseSt German's RoadExeter, Devon EX4 4PJ


Exeter Central Library

Event details

The Egenis contribution to the Festival will be a public meeting, 'Non-invasive prenatal genetic testing - a moral maze?' This will be a ‘Moral Maze’-type discussion of the issues surrounding the development of non-invasive prenatal genetic diagnosis (NIPD). Recent advances mean that it is becoming possible to screen for a limited variety of genetic conditions through normal blood testing, avoiding the need for risky procedures such as amniocentesis. More expansive prenatal tests, for example, testing for conditions like Down Syndrome, or pre-disposition to disease, are on the horizon. How much do members of the public know about these emerging testing procedures and what do they think? Are the tests viewed as a quicker and easier way to identify genetic disorders before birth, or the thin end of the wedge in a culture that desires 'perfect' babies? Will NIPD improve reproductive health care, or turn all pregnancies into a moral maze? Is NIPD a social good, or a social harm?

Further details