Seminar today ‘The illusion of choice? Genetic screening during pregnancy’ @scharrsheffield @sheffchildrens

I am pleased to announce that the ScHARR seminar series continues today with a talk from Professor Karl Atkin, the head of the Department of Health Sciences, University of York. The presentation is entitled; ‘The illusion of choice? Genetic screening during pregnancy’ and here is a summary of the talk:

The past decade – reflecting changes in how medicine views the body – has seen an increasing interest in identifying those at risk of range of genetic conditions.   Perhaps not surprisingly, genetic screening for recessive disorders has become especially common during pregnancy.  While reflecting a genuine commitment to informed reproductive choice, current policy struggles to overcome the more embedded ethical dilemmas in offering antenatal screening.   Consequently, the emphasis on informed choice, although understandable, can seem naïve.  This talk will explore the extent to which people feel they have choices when asked to consider genetic testing, using current antenatal screening for sickle cell as an example.  The talk will specifically examine how broader values and norms influence the decision making process and the role of the State in facilitating choice.   The talk, by highlighting the difficulties faced by current policy in overcoming potential eugenic connotations, suggests there is an unfortunate continuity with previous historical practices.  It advocates an acknowledgement of current tensions as a basis of a more empowering policy, in which individuals are aware of the consequences of their choices.

The seminar is today 12.30-1.30pm, in the Pemberton Room, Regent Court. All University staff and students are welcome and tea and coffee is provided. You are welcome to bring your lunch to all events.


You can add ScHARR seminars to your Google calendar by visiting:

and clicking on the + image link that says *Google calendar* (at the bottom right hand corner of the calendar).

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Best wishes,

Ellie Holding, Matt Franklin & Louise Newbould

Ellie Holding

Research Associate (Public Health)

Public Health and Inequalities, NIHR CLAHRC YH (

ScHARR (School of Health and Related Research)
University of Sheffield

Regent Court, 30 Regent Street

Sheffield, S1 4DA
+44 114 2220849

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s