The changing of moral focus of newborn screening
Published on : 01/12/2008
Author / Source : President’s Council on Bioethics, USA
An Ethical Analysis by The President's Council on Bioethics, USA
The changing of moral focus of newborn screening An Ethical Analysis by The President's Council on Bioethics, USA Nearly four million newborns undergo genetic screening every year in the United States. Yet, the process of genetic screening and its ethical implications are not well understood by their parents. Public discussion and education about recent changes in public policy and screening techniques is insufficient for parents to make informed choices. One aim of this white paper is to provide the background information every parent needs in order to understand the issues and to make informed choices.
Most states have mandatory genetic screening programs for newborn babies. Until recently such screening was limited to diseases that were well understood and for which effective treatments were available. Now, however, most mandatory screening programs also test for diseases that are not well understood and for which there is no available treatment. Some believe this change is ethically justifiable because much knowledge of little understood diseases could be gained and lead eventually to treatment and cure.
- Assisted reproductionIs it acceptable to freeze human embryos?
We began freezing human embryos in order to augment the efficiency of the diverse methods of medically assisted reproduction. In this way we do not have to 'oblige' women to be subjected to repeated ovary sampling, either in the case where a first implantation is not successful or when a new fertilization is desired.
If we consider these embryonic cells as merely biological material or a potential embryo, freezing only poses technical or juridical...
- SurrogacyThe commodification of the human body has been drawn into sharp focus over the last several years as issues such as human trafficking for organs and sexual servitude have gained international attention. Unfortunately, another form of trafficking has evaded the same level of attention and outrage of the international community: surrogacy motherhood. Surrogacy motherhood is a commodification of the human person: the child becomes the mere object of a convention, while the surrogate mother is...
- Clauses of conscienceProfessor in the Faculty of Medicine
Founding Director of the Faculty of Law's Centre for Medicine,
Ethics and Law at McGill University
Which principles, concepts, approaches and ideas might help us to act ethically when we face tough decisions as institutions or governments as to what health care will and will not be provided? In exploring the ethics of limiting health care, as in many areas of ethics, we often focus on dramatic individual cases.
Canada is typical in this regard....