Research Antina de Jong
LL.M. in Dutch and European Law (Erasmus University Rotterdam) 2001
M.A. Theology (Groningen) 1991
Faculty / Department
Faculty of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences
Department of Health, Ethics & Society
Phone: +31 43 38 81128
Ph.D. Title: Individualized choice in prenatal screening: yes or no? Ethical reflections.
Key aims: The main objective of this study is to contribute to a sustainable normative framework for prenatal screening now that current developments may call for a new understanding of the notion of ‘providing reproductive choice’. The study will proactively scrutinize the ethical implications of different ways of responding to this challenge and relate these to the debate about the proper aim of prenatal screening.
The developments referred to, include:
- techniques that make diagnostic testing procedures more rapid and also enable testing for a smaller range of chromosomal on the one hand and for a much wider range of heterogeneous abnormalities on the other hand. Thus, both targeted and broad testing policies are feasible.
- techniques that enable non-invasive diagnostic testing directly on maternal blood, thereby eliminating the miscarriage risk.
In view of the sketched developments, the question is who should decide about the precise scope of the screening offer and on the basis of what considerations. Should this be a matter of public policy, of professionals and user organizations or of individual women and their partners (individualized choice)?
Methodology: The project combines theoretical and empirical methods, namely ethical analysis of relevant literature and empirical research. The empirical part of this study has a qualitative character. Opinions of stakeholders, more in particular professionals involved in prenatal screening, pregnant women and prospective users, will be generated in focus groups. ‘Considered moral judgments’ of these stakeholders will be integrated in the ethical analysis.
Funder: Centre for Society and Genomics, funded by the Netherlands Genomics Initiative