Non-invasive prenatal testing
Testing for genetic conditions and traits such as Down’s syndrome now can be carried out by means of a blood test from 10 weeks of pregnancy. This kind of testing is more accurate than previously available early screening tests and does not carry the risk of miscarriage of invasive diagnostic tests. However, concerns have been raised including about routinisation and the potential for non-invasive prenatal testing to provide wider genetic information about the unborn child.
This project will explore the ethical, legal and regulatory implications of recent and potential future scientific developments in non-invasive prenatal testing, including its use in both NHS and commercial services.
Genome editing techniques such as the CRISPR-Cas9 system are transforming many areas of biological research.
The first stage of this project considered the impact of genome editing in research and the range of questions to which this gives rise. The findings of this review have now been published. A new Working Party has been established which will develop practical ethical guidance for the application of genome editing in humans.
Invasive cosmetic procedures are becoming increasingly popular and accessible in the UK, prompting questions about potential risks to users and the lack of regulation and professional standards in this area.
This project will explore ethical issues in cosmetic procedures with a particular focus on the role and responsibilities of health and scientific professionals and others in responding to demand for invasive non-reconstructive procedures that aim to enhance or normalise appearance.
Workshop: time limits on maintaining human embryos in research
The Council held a workshop in December 2016 to consider whether or not there may be persuasive reasons to review the legal time limit for maintaining human embryos in culture.
Workshop: research in global health emergencies
The Council held a workshop in December 2016 to consider the ethical challenges of conducting research and innovation in the context of global health emergencies.
Workshop: ethics of ageing research
The Council held a workshop in November 2016 to consider the ethical, social and policy issues raised by research that seeks to slow or prevent the biological processes of ageing – known as biogerontology.
Non-invasive prenatal testingNon-invasive prenatal testing
Genome editingGenome editing
Cosmetic proceduresCosmetic procedures
Workshop: time limits on maintaining human embryos in researchWorkshop: time limits on maintaining human embryos in research
Workshop: research in global health emergenciesWorkshop: research in global health emergencies
Workshop: ethics of ageing researchWorkshop: ethics of ageing research