Amusing article on how developments in noninvasive prenatal screening could have foiled the plot of Bridget Jones’ Baby. Not that currently available cfDNA screens can be used for paternity, but they could in theory.
PIRC collaborator Subhashini Chandrasekharan is quoted in an article released today on GenomeWeb: “With Rapid Uptake of Noninvasive Prenatal Screening, Many Question Its Impact on Abortion” (free registration required to access). GenomeWeb reporter Monica Heger notes that noninvasive prenatal screening (NIPS), “one of the fastest adopted clinical tests,” is now becoming a routinized part of prenatal care worldwide. Many abortion opponents have assumed this new technology will result in a huge increase in abortions, but the data are not nearly so clear. Chandrasekharan says,
“The immediate jump from yes we’ll be able to detect more genetic abnormalities prenatally, and, yes, therefore more people will terminate the pregnancy, that’s where I have doubts.”
PIRC member Ainsley Newson‘s new article in BioNews (August 30, 2016) argues that, though the proposed stepwise implementation of NIPT in the UK makes sense in many ways, some ethical issues remain. (The UK National Screening Committee has recommended implementing NIPT as part of the national antenatal screening programme, but no official decision has been issued.) Continue reading
We’re happy to announce that PIRC member Stephanie Meredith is the first author on a new publication in Prenatal Diagnosis. In collaboration with several PIRC members and others, Stephanie has written an article exploring the challenges that prenatal cfDNA screening has posed to non-profit patient advocacy groups (PAGs). Continue reading
The American College of Medical Genetics & Genomics (ACMG) has issued a new statement on cell free DNA prenatal screening. As with its initial statement, the ACMG separates itself from existing statements and guidelines on cfDNA screening. Continue reading
In a recent article, “POV: My Life with Turner Syndrome (TS): Genetic screening does not necessarily predict the future,” Caitlin Bawn writes about her experience growing up with TS and her concerns about screening that can detect the condition prenatally. She worries that pregnant women undergoing prenatal screening will not receive information about the spectrum of outcomes for girls with TS as they are making reproductive decisions. While Bawn’s story focuses on Turner syndrome, she touches on a key issue with prenatal screening for a range of conditions as increasing numbers of expectant parents and providers are put in the position of figuring out what a diagnosis means.