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Genomic futures of prenatal screening: ethical reflection. - PubMed - NCBI

Genomic futures of prenatal screening: ethical reflection. - PubMed - NCBI

 2016 May;89(5):531-8. doi: 10.1111/cge.12640. Epub 2015 Aug 2.

Genomic futures of prenatal screening: ethical reflection.


The practice of prenatal screening is undergoing important changes as a result of the introduction of genomic testing technologies at different stages of the screening trajectory. It is expected that eventually it will become possible to routinely obtain a comprehensive 'genome scan' of all fetuses. Although this will still take several years, there are clear continuities between present developments and this future scenario. As this review shows, behind the still limited scope of screening for common aneuploidies, a rapid widening of the range of conditions tested for is already taking shape at the invasive testing stage. But the continuities are not just technical; they are also ethical. If screening for Down's syndrome is a matter of providing autonomous reproductive choice, then why would providing the choice to have a full fetal genome scan be something entirely different? There is a clear need for a sustainable normative framework that will have to answer three challenges: the indeterminateness of the autonomy paradigm, the need to acknowledge the future child as an interested stakeholder, and the prospect of broad-scope genomic prenatal screening with a double purpose: autonomy and prevention.


NIPT; ethics; microarray; prenatal screening; whole genome sequencing


[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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