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Non-invasive prenatal genetic testing - a moral maze?

March 16 2010

Exeter Central Library

Organised by:
University of Exeter
Byrne House
St German's Road
Exeter, Devon EX4 4PJ


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?,23657,en.t4.html