Medical student - Harvard Medical School
Expanded Prenatal Genetic Testing: Where Should We Draw the Line?
The objective of this project is to evaluate three series of ethical questions that build on one another.
1. What are the benefits and drawbacks of expanded prenatal genetic testing from both an individual (prospective parent) and societal perspective? Specifically, will parental autonomy will be improved or diminished with greater access to fetal genetic information? What ramifications will expanded testing have at a societal level, particularly regarding abortion, disability, and cost?
2. Should parents be offered a wide range of fetal genetic information, or should access be limited in some way? If access should be limited, what is the ethical basis for restricting parental autonomy?
3. What are ethical principles that can be used for devising guidelines on the use of expanded prenatal genetic testing? What kinds of tests ought to be recommended, offered, or not offered by physicians to expectant parents?
By exploring these three interrelated lines of inquiry, I hope to develop a clear, pragmatic and ethically-grounded foundation for guiding the implementation of expanded prenatal genetic testing.