How do we explain to patients what genetic test results might mean for their baby when they have only been validated in other populations?

Bioethics Brownbag & Webinar Series logoExpanded Carrier Screening for an Increasingly Diverse Population: Embracing the Promise of the Future or Ignoring the Sins of the Past?

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Race and ethnic groups have been tracking heritable conditions endemic within their communities for decades, but past public health screening programs—e.g., sickle cell testing for African Americans 1970s—were adopted with little thought to scientific accuracy or potential discrimination. Currently, carrier genetic testing is generally offered under professional guidelines aiming to balance potentially clinically actionable information with concerns about healthcare costs and patient anxiety: recommended testing on the basis of family history, self-reported race or ethnicity, or for a condition deemed worthy of universal screening. But some private companies have begun to offer expanded carrier screening, testing all conditions for all patients. Scientists at one such company reported in 2016 in JAMA that expanded carrier screening might increase detection of potentially serious genetic conditions. But what are the implications of returning ancestry information when patients seek medical advice? How do we explain to patients what results might mean for their baby when they have only been validated in other populations? This talk will explore policy options at the intersection of race, reproduction, and commercial use of data.

sept-13-bbagJoin us for Kayte Spector-Bagdady’s lecture on Wednesday, September 13, 2017 from noon till 1 pm in person or online.

Kayte Spector-Bagdady, JD, MBioethics, is a Research Investigator in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Michigan Medical School and also leads the Research Ethics Service in the Center for Bioethics and Social Sciences in Medicine (CBSSM). Her current research explores informed consent to emerging technologies with a focus on reproduction and genetics. Kayte received her J.D. and M.Bioethics from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and School of Medicine respectively after graduating from Middlebury College. She is a former drug and device attorney and Associate Director of President Obama’s Bioethics Commission.

In person: This lecture will take place in C102 East Fee Hall on MSU’s East Lansing campus. Feel free to bring your lunch! Beverages and light snacks will be provided.

Online: Here are some instructions for your first time joining the webinar, or if you have attended or viewed them before, go to the meeting!

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About Michigan State Bioethics

Devoted to understanding and teaching the ethical, social and humanistic dimensions of illness and health care since 1977.
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