Dealing with treatment and transfer requests: how PGD-professionals discuss ethical challenges arising in everyday practice

Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 21 (3):375-386 (2018)
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How do professionals working in pre-implantation genetic diagnosis reflect upon their decision making with regard to ethical challenges arising in everyday practice? Two focus group discussions were held with staff of reproductive genetic clinics: one in Utrecht with PGD-professionals from Dutch PGD-centres and one in Prague with PGD-professionals working in centres in different European countries. Both meetings consisted of two parts, exploring participants’ views regarding treatment requests for conditions that may not fulfill traditional indications criteria for PGD, and treatment and transfer requests involving welfare-of-the-child considerations. There was general support for the view that people who come for PGD will have their own good reasons to consider the condition they wish to avoid as serious. But whereas PGD-professionals in the international group tended to stress the applicants’ legal right to eventually have the treatment they want, participants in the Dutch group sketched a picture of shared decision-making, where professionals would go ahead with treatment in cases where they are able to understand the reasonableness of the request in the light of the couple’s reproductive history or family experience. In the international focus group there was little support for guidance stating that welfare-of-the child considerations should be taken into account. This was different in the Dutch focus group, where shared decision-making also had the role of reassuring professionals that applicants had adequately considered possible implications for the welfare of the child.



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Veerle Provoost
University of Ghent

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Discussion.[author unknown] - 1999 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 30 (4):721-723.

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