New Government Report: Changing Moral Focus of Newborn Screening

September 21, 2010 at 9:53 am Leave a comment

Changing Moral Focus of Newborn Screening: An Ethical Analysis by the President’s Council on Bioethics
by Edmund D. Pellegrino (editor)
Paperback, 150 pages, 2008, $45.00
ISBN: 1437921892

“Nearly 4 million newborns undergo genetic screening (GS) every year in the U.S. Until recently such GS was limited to diseases that were well understood and for which effective treatments were available. Now, however, most mandatory GS programs also test for diseases that are not well understood and for which there is no available treatment. This white paper describes how the change in policy to include GS for untreatable as well as treatable diseases came about. It provides basic info. about the techniques of GS, and the practical and ethical choices parents must face. The Council believes that the potential benefits of mandatory, population-wide newborn GS for diseases for which there is no current treatment are outweighed by the potential harms.”

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