Prenatal Genetic Diagnostics

Expert study (2014-2016)


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New methods of genome analysis make it possible to determine from the blood of a pregnant woman whether any pathological genetic abnormalities are present in her child. It is therefore now comparatively simple to obtain data on an ever increasing number of genetic characteristics of the unborn child. Up to now it has been necessary to carry out invasive tests for that purpose, most of which were only done because it was suspected that the child had some malformation.

Initial experiences indicate that the new non-invasive method of genetic diagnostics is very reliable, and also that the risks to the foetus that are concomitant with an invasive test, such as amniocentesis, are eliminated. It offers a safer alternative to the previous tests in respect of chromosomal anomalies. The new types of tests are already on the market. In Switzerland, they are only performed on medical prescription. They are, however, also available on the internet without a medical prescription – from foreign firms.

Wissenswertes – en savoir plus – per saperne di più – learn more

Zentrale Ethikkommission der Schweizerischen Akademie der Medizinischen Wissenschaften: Pränatales Screening auf Trisomie 21: Einsatz des Praena-Tests. Stellungnahme (2012)

Nationale Ethikkommission im Bereich der Humanmedizin: Die medizinisch unterstützte Fortpflanzung. Ethische Überlegungen und Vorschläge für die Zukunft. Stellungnahme Nr. 22 (2013)

Leopoldina – Nationale Akademie der Wissenschaften (D): Auf dem Weg zur perfekten Rationalisierung der Fortpflanzung? Diskussionspapier (2014)

Organisation

Project supported by

  • Centre for Technology Assessment TA-SWISS
  • Commission for Technology and Innovation CTI
  • National Advsory Commissio on Biomedical Ethics (NEC)
  • Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences

Project mandataries

  • Dr Susanne Brauer (Projektleiterin), Brauer & Strub │ Medizin Ethik Politik, Zurich
  • Dr Jean-Daniel Strub, Brauer & Strub │ Medizin Ethik Politik, Zurich

In collaboration with:

  • Dr. Barbara Bleisch, Centre for Ethics, University of Zurich
  • Dr. Christian Bolliger, Büro Vatter AG, Politikforschung & -beratung, Bern
  • Prof. Dr. Andrea Büchler, Institut of Law, University of Zurich
  • Dr. Isabel Filges, Medizinische Genetik, Universitätsspital Basel
  • Prof Dr. Peter Miny, Medizinische Genetik, Universitätsspital Basel
  • Anna Sax, Tradig GmbH für transdisziplinäre Analysen im Gesundheitswesen, Bern
  • Prof. Dr. Sevgi Tercanli, Ultraschallpraxis Freie Strasse, Basel
  • PD Dr. Markus Zimmermann, Department of moral theology an ethics, University of Fribourg 

Supervisory group

  • Prof. Dr. med. Giatgen Spinas, University Hospital Zurich, Chair of the supervisory group
  • Dr. Hermann Amstad, Swiss Academy of Medical Sciences SAMS, Basel
  • Cristina Benedetti, Commission of Experts for Genetic Testing on Human Beings (GUMEK), Bern
  • Dr. Mathias Bürgin, Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH), Bern
  • Dr. Elisabeth Ehrensperger, National Advsory Commission on Biomedical Ethics (NEC), Bern
  • Prof. Valérie Junod, Faculté de droit, Université de Genève
  • Prof. Christian Kind, Central Ethical Committee, SAMS
  • PD Dr. Olav Lapaire, Universitäts-Frauenklinik Basel
  • Dr. h.c. Moritz Leuenberger, Zurich
  • Dr. Fridolin Marty, economiesuisse, Zürich
  • Prof. Frank Mathwig, Schweizerischer Evangelischer Kirchenbund SEK, Bern, delegate of NEC
  • Olga Nikolayeva, Institute of Molecular Life Sciences, University of Zurich
  • Dr. Manfred Schawaller, Davos Diagnostics AG, delegate of the Commission for Technology and Innovation (CTI)
  • Christa Schönbächler, Insieme Schweiz, Dachorganisation der Elternvereine für Menschen mit einer geistigen Behinderung, Bern
  • Franziska Wirz, Appella, Beratungsstelle Schwangerschaft und Pränataldiagnostik, Zurich 

TA-SWISS Project management

Dr Adrian Rüegsegger, TA-SWISS (E-Mail)

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