Published on
9 December 2009

Prenatal Diagnosis Pre-empts Eugenics

By: Dr. Manuel Corpas


Dr. Manuel Corpas is currently development lead of a database of human genetic variation and took a Ph.D. in Bioinformatics at the University of Manchester. He speaks in a purely personal capacity. Seminar held on 9 December 2009.

What is a genome? The fact that many diseases can now be traced to genetic makeup makes sequencing of personal genomes a useful diagnostic tool. This legitimate endeavour, together with recent developments in next generation sequencing techniques, is dramatically altering aspects of clinical practice. In the UK, the rise of personalised medicine is evident from NHS plans to standardise genetic prenatal diagnosis. This paper will present some ethical dilemmas arising from these plans and their potential consequences.