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BioNews Comment articles written by Dr Ainsley Newson:

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Australia's careful step towards legalising mitochondrial donation
9 July 2018 - by Dr Ainsley Newson
Mitochondrial donation has seeded a growing literature in bioethics, law and the social sciences. This technology, which introduces third-party mitochondria to an embryo or oocyte, has contributed to many long-standing social and ethical questions... [Read More]
Why information and choice won't solve all of NIPT's ethical problems
30 August 2016 - by Dr Ainsley Newson
Jane Fisher and Lyn Chitty highlight in BioNews 864 that it's been almost nine months since the UK National Screening Committee recommended an 'evaluative implementation of NIPT into the NHS's antenatal screening programme – a recommendation that still awaits ministerial decision... [Read More]
Whose genome is it anyway? Ethics and whole genome sequencing before birth
1 December 2014 - by Dr Ainsley Newson
Geneticist Razib Khan's decision to obtain the whole genome sequence of his partner's fetus in utero shows us that genomics is no longer a fantasy. While it would be a mistake to use this one example to condemn the entire practice of whole genome sequencing prior to birth, I will suggest here why we should look before we leap... [Read More]
Preconception testing and screening: Has the HGC covered all the bases?
25 July 2011 - by Dr Ainsley Newson
Has the Human Genetics Commission (HGC)'s recent report on population-wide preconception genetic testing and screening convincingly demonstrated that this practice raises 'no specific ethical, legal or social principles' that would make population screening unacceptable?... [Read More]
Choice, autonomy and eugenics: Thoughts on the HGC's report on preconception genetic testing and screening
9 May 2011 - by Dr Ainsley Newson
As highlighted in BioNews, in early April 2011 the UK's Human Genetics Commission (HGC) published a report supporting preconception genetic testing and screening (1). Preconception screening, which can be broadly described as identifying carriers of genetic mutations to inform reproductive decision-making for the person tested or his/her relatives, is well established in some jurisdictions but relatively unknown in the UK... [Read More]
Why genetics services should contact at-risk relatives directly
18 September 2006 - by Dr Ainsley Newson
Finding out you have a genetic mutation is not an insular experience: this difficult revelation nearly always has implications for relatives as well. Often, good clinical interventions are available that could safeguard relatives' future health and perhaps even save their life. However, it's sometimes difficult to make sure this important... [Read More]
Paternity testing: how to progress
15 August 2005 - by Dr Ainsley Newson
If statements on paternity testing websites are to be believed, the decision to have a paternity test is a straightforward process for the curious father. Send away for a free, no-obligation kit, post it back with your samples and your results will be available (by phone, mail or online) within... [Read More]
Defending 'secrecy': why removing donor anonymity is not a good idea
28 April 2003 - by Dr Ainsley Newson
Should children conceived through the use of donated gametes have access to information identifying their donors when they reach maturity? The UK Government is expected soon to decide that, from now on, the answer to this question is to be 'yes'. But is this a good idea? Even though there... [Read More]