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  • 1.
    Matar, Amal
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Centre for Research Ethics and Bioethics.
    Considering a Baby? Responsible Screening for the Future: Ethical and social implications for implementation and use of preconception expanded carrier screening in Sweden2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Preconception expanded carrier screening is a novel technology that involves the offer of a screening test for many recessive diseases (via an expanded screening panel) to prospective parents, with no priori risk. Test positive couples have a number of reproductive choices; prenatal diagnosis and aborting affected fetus, IVF and preimplantation genetic diagnosis, sperm or ovum donation or simply accept the risk. The test had been piloted in studies and can potentially be implemented in Europe. Therefore, it seemed pertinent to evaluate stakeholders’ perspectives on ethical and social implications of implementing and using preconception ECS in Sweden.

    Two main stakeholders were examined; healthcare professionals and health policymaking experts, via a mix of qualitative methods for data collection and data analysis. In Study I, we employed in-depth interviews to collect data and content analysis to analyze it. In Studies III and IV, expert interviews were used to gather data while thematic analysis was utilized to interpret it. Furthermore, in Study II, an ethical concept namely; reproductive autonomy, was critically discussed within a setting that expects a couple to make a conjoint reproductive decision about preconception ECS, while each partner still upholds his or her individual autonomy.

    The main findings of the empirical studies (Studies I, III and IV) echo to a great extent the prevailing ethical and social debates associated with the novel technology. Respondents expressed concerns with reproductive autonomy, medicalization, prioritization of health resources, discrimination and long term societal changes. Furthermore, respondents emphasized the importance to observe Swedish values, such as human dignity, equality and solidarity, when assessing a preconception ECS program. In addition, they described practicalities of implementation and political considerations that are pertinent to the Swedish context. Finally, some respondents recognized the advantages of reduced suffering and decrease in fetal anomalies and abortion as a consequence of preconception ECS.

    Study II, proposed a notion of couple autonomy, where certain demands if met, a couple’s reproductive decision can be accepted by healthcare staff as autonomous.

    The findings, in this thesis, steer towards non implementation of preconception ECS in its current status within the publicly-funded healthcare system in Sweden. This is because healthcare providers and experts were of the opinion that it would not solve a medical need, threaten Swedish values and use up resources extensively.

    List of papers
    1. Swedish healthcare providers' perceptions of preconception expanded carrier screening (ECS)—a qualitative study
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Swedish healthcare providers' perceptions of preconception expanded carrier screening (ECS)—a qualitative study
    2016 (English)In: Journal of Community Genetics, ISSN 1868-6001, Vol. 7, no 3, p. 203-214Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    Reproductive autonomy, medicalization, and discrimination against disabled and parental responsibility are the main ongoing ethical debates concerning reproductive genetic screening. To examine Swedish healthcare professionals’ views on preconception expanded carrier screening (ECS), a qualitative study involving academic and clinical institutions in Sweden was conducted in September 2014 to February 2015. Eleven healthcare professionals including clinicians, geneticists, a midwife, and a genetic counselor were interviewed in depth using a semi-structured interview guide. The questionnaire was constructed after reviewing the main literature and meetings with relevant healthcare providers. The interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and content analyzed for categories and subcategories. Participants nurtured many ethical and non-ethical concerns regarding preconception ECS. Among the ethical concerns were the potential for discrimination, medicalization, concerns with prioritization of healthcare resources, and effects on reproductive freedom. The effects of implementation of preconception ECS, its stakeholders, regulations, and motivation are some of non-ethical concerns. These concerns, if not addressed, may affect the uptake and usage of carrier screening within Swedish healthcare system. As this is a qualitative study with a small non-random sample size, the findings cannot be generalized. The participants had little to no working experience with expanded screening panels. Moreover, the interviews were conducted in English, a second language for the participants, which might have limited the expression of their views. However, the authors claim that the findings may be pertinent to similar settings in other Scandinavian countries.

    Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
    Springer, 2016
    Keywords
    reproductiion, autonomy, expanded carrier screening
    National Category
    Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-294966 (URN)10.1007/s12687-016-0268-2 (DOI)000386778700004 ()27225888 (PubMedID)
    Available from: 2016-05-31 Created: 2016-05-31 Last updated: 2019-01-11Bibliographically approved
    2. Couple autonomy in preconception expanded carrier screening
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Couple autonomy in preconception expanded carrier screening
    (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Preconception Expanded Carrier Screening (ECS) is a genetic test offered to a general population or to couples who have no known risk of recessive and X-linked genetic diseases and are interested in becoming parents. A test may screen for carrier status of several autosomal recessive diseases at one go. Such a program has been piloted in the Netherlands and may become a reality in more European countries in the future. The ethical rationale for such tests is that they would enhance reproductive autonomy. The dominant conception of autonomy is individual-based. However, at the clinic, people deciding on preconception ECS will be counselled together and are expected to make a joint decision, as a couple. The aim of the present study was to develop an understanding of autonomous decisions made by couples in the context of reproductive technologies in general and of preconception ECS in particular. A further aim was to shed light on what occurs in reproductive clinics and to suggest concrete implications for the approach of healthcare professionals in those clinics. Discussion: Based on the shift in emphasis from individual autonomy to relational autonomy, a notion of couple autonomy was suggested and some features of this concept were outlined. First, that both partners are individually autonomous and that the decision is reached through a communicative process. In this process each partner should feel free to express his or her concerns and preferences, so no one partner dominates the discussion. Further, there should be adequate time for the couple to negotiate possible differences and conclude that the decision is right for them. The final decision should be reached through consensus of both partners without coercion, manipulation or miscommunication. Through concrete examples, the suggested notion of couple autonomy was applied to diverse clinical situations. Conclusions: A notion of couple autonomy can be fruitful for healthcare professionals by facilitating the ways in which close ones are vital for the decision-making concerning preconception ECS. A normative implication for healthcare staff is to allow the necessary time for decision-making and to promote a dialogue that can increase the power of the weaker part in a relationship.

    National Category
    Other Medical Biotechnology
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-366363 (URN)
    Available from: 2018-11-20 Created: 2018-11-20 Last updated: 2019-01-11Bibliographically approved
    3. "A perfect society": Swedish policymakers' ethical and social views on preconception expanded carrier screening
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>"A perfect society": Swedish policymakers' ethical and social views on preconception expanded carrier screening
    2019 (English)In: Journal of Community Genetics, ISSN 1868-310X, E-ISSN 1868-6001, Vol. 10, no 2, p. 267-280Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    To improve healthcare policymaking, commentators have recommended the use of evidence, health technology assessment, priority setting, and public engagement in the process of policymaking. Preconception expanded carrier screening, according to the World Health Organization’s definition, is a novel health technology and therefore warrants assessment, part of which involves evaluating ethical and social implications. We examined ten Swedish policymakers’ perspectives on ethical and social aspects of preconception expanded screening through in-depth expert interviewing, using a semi-structured questionnaire. Respondents were affiliated to governmental and non-governmental institutions that directly influence healthcare policymaking in Sweden. The interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed via inductive thematic analysis method, which generated seven themes and several subthemes. Policymakers harbored concerns regarding the economics, Swedish and international political respects, implementation procedures, and societal effects, which included long-term ones. Moreover, participants detailed the role of public engagement, research, and responsibility in regard to preconception expanded carrier screening implementation. Since this is a qualitative study, with a small non-random sample, the results may not be generalizable to all policymakers in Sweden. However, the results give a profound insight into the process and interpretative knowledge of experts, in the Swedish milieu and the extent of readiness of Sweden to implement a preconception expanded carrier screening program.

    Keywords
    Preconception, Expanded carrier screening, Genetic, Policymakers, Reproductive decision-making, Ethics, Social effects
    National Category
    Other Medical Biotechnology Other Health Sciences Medical Ethics
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-362390 (URN)10.1007/s12687-018-0389-x (DOI)000463053900011 ()30259298 (PubMedID)
    Available from: 2018-10-04 Created: 2018-10-04 Last updated: 2019-04-25Bibliographically approved
    4. Values and value conflicts in implementation and use of preconception expanded carrier screening: an expert interview study
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Values and value conflicts in implementation and use of preconception expanded carrier screening: an expert interview study
    2019 (English)In: BMC Medical Ethics, ISSN 1472-6939, E-ISSN 1472-6939, Vol. 20, article id 25Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Endeavors have been made to found and incorporate ethical values in most aspects of healthcare, including health technology assessment. Health technologies and their assessment are value-laden and could trigger problems with dissemination if they contradict societal norms. Per WHO definition, preconception expanded carrier screening is a new health technology that warrants assessment. It is a genetic test offered to couples who have no known risk of recessive genetic diseases and are interested pregnancy. A test may screen for carrier status of several autosomal recessive diseases and X-linked at one go. The technique has been piloted in the Netherlands and is discussed in other countries. The aim of the study was to examine values and value conflicts that healthcare experts recounted in relation to the discussion of implementation and use of preconception ECS in Sweden.

    Methods: We interviewed ten experts, who were associated with influencing health policymaking in Sweden. We employed systematizing expert interviews, which endeavor to access experts' specialist knowledge. There were four female and six male informants, of which four were physicians, three bioethicists, one a legal expert, one a theologian and one a political party representative in the parliament. The participants functioned as members of two non-governmental bodies and three governmental organizations. We employed thematic analysis to identify themes, categories and subcategories.

    Results: Two main themes surfaced: values and value conflicts. The main categories of Respect for persons, Solidarity, Human dignity, Do no harm, Health and Love formed the first theme, while values conflicting with autonomy and integrity respectively, constituted the second theme. Concepts relating to respect for persons were the most commonly mentioned among the participants, followed by notions alluding to solidarity. Furthermore, respondents discussed values conflicting with Swedish healthcare ones such as equality and solidarity.

    Conclusions: The experts highlighted values and concepts that are distinctive of welfare states such as Sweden and delineated how preconception ECS could challenge such values. Moreover, the analysis revealed that certain values were deemed more substantive than others, judging by the extent and detail of inference; for example, respect for persons and solidarity were on top of the list.

    Keywords
    Moral values; intrinsic and extrinsic values; preconception expanded carrier screening; respect for persons; Solidarity; human dignity.
    National Category
    Other Medical Biotechnology
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-366366 (URN)10.1186/s12910-019-0362-1 (DOI)000465408300001 ()31014326 (PubMedID)
    Available from: 2018-11-20 Created: 2018-11-20 Last updated: 2019-05-10Bibliographically approved
  • 2.
    Matar, Amal
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Centre for Research Ethics and Bioethics.
    Couples Considering a Baby? Screen for the Future: Ethical and Implementation Aspects of Preconception Genetic Carrier Screening2016Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    List of papers
    1. Swedish healthcare providers' perceptions of preconception expanded carrier screening (ECS)—a qualitative study
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Swedish healthcare providers' perceptions of preconception expanded carrier screening (ECS)—a qualitative study
    2016 (English)In: Journal of Community Genetics, ISSN 1868-6001, Vol. 7, no 3, p. 203-214Article in journal (Refereed) Published
    Abstract [en]

    Reproductive autonomy, medicalization, and discrimination against disabled and parental responsibility are the main ongoing ethical debates concerning reproductive genetic screening. To examine Swedish healthcare professionals’ views on preconception expanded carrier screening (ECS), a qualitative study involving academic and clinical institutions in Sweden was conducted in September 2014 to February 2015. Eleven healthcare professionals including clinicians, geneticists, a midwife, and a genetic counselor were interviewed in depth using a semi-structured interview guide. The questionnaire was constructed after reviewing the main literature and meetings with relevant healthcare providers. The interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and content analyzed for categories and subcategories. Participants nurtured many ethical and non-ethical concerns regarding preconception ECS. Among the ethical concerns were the potential for discrimination, medicalization, concerns with prioritization of healthcare resources, and effects on reproductive freedom. The effects of implementation of preconception ECS, its stakeholders, regulations, and motivation are some of non-ethical concerns. These concerns, if not addressed, may affect the uptake and usage of carrier screening within Swedish healthcare system. As this is a qualitative study with a small non-random sample size, the findings cannot be generalized. The participants had little to no working experience with expanded screening panels. Moreover, the interviews were conducted in English, a second language for the participants, which might have limited the expression of their views. However, the authors claim that the findings may be pertinent to similar settings in other Scandinavian countries.

    Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
    Springer, 2016
    Keywords
    reproductiion, autonomy, expanded carrier screening
    National Category
    Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Medicine Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-294966 (URN)10.1007/s12687-016-0268-2 (DOI)000386778700004 ()27225888 (PubMedID)
    Available from: 2016-05-31 Created: 2016-05-31 Last updated: 2019-01-11Bibliographically approved
    2. Couple autonomy in preconception expanded carrier screening
    Open this publication in new window or tab >>Couple autonomy in preconception expanded carrier screening
    (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Preconception Expanded Carrier Screening (ECS) is a genetic test offered to a general population or to couples who have no known risk of recessive and X-linked genetic diseases and are interested in becoming parents. A test may screen for carrier status of several autosomal recessive diseases at one go. Such a program has been piloted in the Netherlands and may become a reality in more European countries in the future. The ethical rationale for such tests is that they would enhance reproductive autonomy. The dominant conception of autonomy is individual-based. However, at the clinic, people deciding on preconception ECS will be counselled together and are expected to make a joint decision, as a couple. The aim of the present study was to develop an understanding of autonomous decisions made by couples in the context of reproductive technologies in general and of preconception ECS in particular. A further aim was to shed light on what occurs in reproductive clinics and to suggest concrete implications for the approach of healthcare professionals in those clinics. Discussion: Based on the shift in emphasis from individual autonomy to relational autonomy, a notion of couple autonomy was suggested and some features of this concept were outlined. First, that both partners are individually autonomous and that the decision is reached through a communicative process. In this process each partner should feel free to express his or her concerns and preferences, so no one partner dominates the discussion. Further, there should be adequate time for the couple to negotiate possible differences and conclude that the decision is right for them. The final decision should be reached through consensus of both partners without coercion, manipulation or miscommunication. Through concrete examples, the suggested notion of couple autonomy was applied to diverse clinical situations. Conclusions: A notion of couple autonomy can be fruitful for healthcare professionals by facilitating the ways in which close ones are vital for the decision-making concerning preconception ECS. A normative implication for healthcare staff is to allow the necessary time for decision-making and to promote a dialogue that can increase the power of the weaker part in a relationship.

    National Category
    Other Medical Biotechnology
    Identifiers
    urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-366363 (URN)
    Available from: 2018-11-20 Created: 2018-11-20 Last updated: 2019-01-11Bibliographically approved
  • 3.
    Matar, Amal
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Centre for Research Ethics and Bioethics.
    Garner, Sam
    Millum, Joseph
    Sina, Barbara
    Silverman, Henry
    Curricular Aspects of the Fogarty Bioethics International Training Programs2014In: Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, ISSN 1556-2646, E-ISSN 1556-2654, Vol. 9, no 2, p. 12-23Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    THE CURRICULUM DESIGN, FACULTY characteristics, and experience of implementing masters' level international research ethics training programs supported by the Fogarty International Center was investigated. Multiple pedagogical approaches were employed to adapt to the learning needs of the trainees. While no generally agreed set of core competencies exists for advanced research ethics training, more than 75% of the curricula examined included international issues in research ethics, responsible conduct of research, human rights, philosophical foundations of research ethics, and research regulation and ethical review process. Common skills taught included critical thinking, research methodology and statistics, writing, and presentation proficiency. Curricula also addressed the cultural, social, and religious context of the trainees related to research ethics. Programs surveyed noted trainee interest in Western concepts of research ethics and the value of the transnational exchange of ideas. Similar faculty expertise profiles existed in all programs. Approximately 40% of faculty were female. Collaboration between faculty from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) and high-income countries (HICs) occurred in most programs and at least 50% of HIC faculty had previous LMIC experience. This paper is part of a collection of papers analyzing the Fogarty International Research Ethics Education and Curriculum Development program.

  • 4.
    Matar, Amal
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Centre for Research Ethics and Bioethics.
    Hansson, Mats G.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Centre for Research Ethics and Bioethics.
    Höglund, Anna T.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Centre for Research Ethics and Bioethics.
    "A perfect society": Swedish policymakers' ethical and social views on preconception expanded carrier screening2019In: Journal of Community Genetics, ISSN 1868-310X, E-ISSN 1868-6001, Vol. 10, no 2, p. 267-280Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    To improve healthcare policymaking, commentators have recommended the use of evidence, health technology assessment, priority setting, and public engagement in the process of policymaking. Preconception expanded carrier screening, according to the World Health Organization’s definition, is a novel health technology and therefore warrants assessment, part of which involves evaluating ethical and social implications. We examined ten Swedish policymakers’ perspectives on ethical and social aspects of preconception expanded screening through in-depth expert interviewing, using a semi-structured questionnaire. Respondents were affiliated to governmental and non-governmental institutions that directly influence healthcare policymaking in Sweden. The interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and analyzed via inductive thematic analysis method, which generated seven themes and several subthemes. Policymakers harbored concerns regarding the economics, Swedish and international political respects, implementation procedures, and societal effects, which included long-term ones. Moreover, participants detailed the role of public engagement, research, and responsibility in regard to preconception expanded carrier screening implementation. Since this is a qualitative study, with a small non-random sample, the results may not be generalizable to all policymakers in Sweden. However, the results give a profound insight into the process and interpretative knowledge of experts, in the Swedish milieu and the extent of readiness of Sweden to implement a preconception expanded carrier screening program.

  • 5.
    Matar, Amal
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Centre for Research Ethics and Bioethics.
    Hansson, Mats G.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Centre for Research Ethics and Bioethics.
    Höglund, Anna T
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Centre for Research Ethics and Bioethics.
    Values and value conflicts in implementation and use of preconception expanded carrier screening: an expert interview study2019In: BMC Medical Ethics, ISSN 1472-6939, E-ISSN 1472-6939, Vol. 20, article id 25Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Endeavors have been made to found and incorporate ethical values in most aspects of healthcare, including health technology assessment. Health technologies and their assessment are value-laden and could trigger problems with dissemination if they contradict societal norms. Per WHO definition, preconception expanded carrier screening is a new health technology that warrants assessment. It is a genetic test offered to couples who have no known risk of recessive genetic diseases and are interested pregnancy. A test may screen for carrier status of several autosomal recessive diseases and X-linked at one go. The technique has been piloted in the Netherlands and is discussed in other countries. The aim of the study was to examine values and value conflicts that healthcare experts recounted in relation to the discussion of implementation and use of preconception ECS in Sweden.

    Methods: We interviewed ten experts, who were associated with influencing health policymaking in Sweden. We employed systematizing expert interviews, which endeavor to access experts' specialist knowledge. There were four female and six male informants, of which four were physicians, three bioethicists, one a legal expert, one a theologian and one a political party representative in the parliament. The participants functioned as members of two non-governmental bodies and three governmental organizations. We employed thematic analysis to identify themes, categories and subcategories.

    Results: Two main themes surfaced: values and value conflicts. The main categories of Respect for persons, Solidarity, Human dignity, Do no harm, Health and Love formed the first theme, while values conflicting with autonomy and integrity respectively, constituted the second theme. Concepts relating to respect for persons were the most commonly mentioned among the participants, followed by notions alluding to solidarity. Furthermore, respondents discussed values conflicting with Swedish healthcare ones such as equality and solidarity.

    Conclusions: The experts highlighted values and concepts that are distinctive of welfare states such as Sweden and delineated how preconception ECS could challenge such values. Moreover, the analysis revealed that certain values were deemed more substantive than others, judging by the extent and detail of inference; for example, respect for persons and solidarity were on top of the list.

  • 6.
    Matar, Amal
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Centre for Research Ethics and Bioethics.
    Höglund, Anna T
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Centre for Research Ethics and Bioethics.
    Segerdahl, Pär
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Centre for Research Ethics and Bioethics.
    Kihlbom, Ulrik
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Centre for Research Ethics and Bioethics.
    Couple autonomy in preconception expanded carrier screeningManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Preconception Expanded Carrier Screening (ECS) is a genetic test offered to a general population or to couples who have no known risk of recessive and X-linked genetic diseases and are interested in becoming parents. A test may screen for carrier status of several autosomal recessive diseases at one go. Such a program has been piloted in the Netherlands and may become a reality in more European countries in the future. The ethical rationale for such tests is that they would enhance reproductive autonomy. The dominant conception of autonomy is individual-based. However, at the clinic, people deciding on preconception ECS will be counselled together and are expected to make a joint decision, as a couple. The aim of the present study was to develop an understanding of autonomous decisions made by couples in the context of reproductive technologies in general and of preconception ECS in particular. A further aim was to shed light on what occurs in reproductive clinics and to suggest concrete implications for the approach of healthcare professionals in those clinics. Discussion: Based on the shift in emphasis from individual autonomy to relational autonomy, a notion of couple autonomy was suggested and some features of this concept were outlined. First, that both partners are individually autonomous and that the decision is reached through a communicative process. In this process each partner should feel free to express his or her concerns and preferences, so no one partner dominates the discussion. Further, there should be adequate time for the couple to negotiate possible differences and conclude that the decision is right for them. The final decision should be reached through consensus of both partners without coercion, manipulation or miscommunication. Through concrete examples, the suggested notion of couple autonomy was applied to diverse clinical situations. Conclusions: A notion of couple autonomy can be fruitful for healthcare professionals by facilitating the ways in which close ones are vital for the decision-making concerning preconception ECS. A normative implication for healthcare staff is to allow the necessary time for decision-making and to promote a dialogue that can increase the power of the weaker part in a relationship.

  • 7.
    Matar, Amal
    et al.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Centre for Research Ethics and Bioethics.
    Kihlbom, Ulrik
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Centre for Research Ethics and Bioethics.
    Höglund, Anna T.
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Centre for Research Ethics and Bioethics.
    Swedish healthcare providers' perceptions of preconception expanded carrier screening (ECS)—a qualitative study2016In: Journal of Community Genetics, ISSN 1868-6001, Vol. 7, no 3, p. 203-214Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Reproductive autonomy, medicalization, and discrimination against disabled and parental responsibility are the main ongoing ethical debates concerning reproductive genetic screening. To examine Swedish healthcare professionals’ views on preconception expanded carrier screening (ECS), a qualitative study involving academic and clinical institutions in Sweden was conducted in September 2014 to February 2015. Eleven healthcare professionals including clinicians, geneticists, a midwife, and a genetic counselor were interviewed in depth using a semi-structured interview guide. The questionnaire was constructed after reviewing the main literature and meetings with relevant healthcare providers. The interviews were recorded, transcribed verbatim, and content analyzed for categories and subcategories. Participants nurtured many ethical and non-ethical concerns regarding preconception ECS. Among the ethical concerns were the potential for discrimination, medicalization, concerns with prioritization of healthcare resources, and effects on reproductive freedom. The effects of implementation of preconception ECS, its stakeholders, regulations, and motivation are some of non-ethical concerns. These concerns, if not addressed, may affect the uptake and usage of carrier screening within Swedish healthcare system. As this is a qualitative study with a small non-random sample size, the findings cannot be generalized. The participants had little to no working experience with expanded screening panels. Moreover, the interviews were conducted in English, a second language for the participants, which might have limited the expression of their views. However, the authors claim that the findings may be pertinent to similar settings in other Scandinavian countries.

  • 8.
    Matar, Amal
    et al.
    American University in Cairo (Egypt).
    Silverman, Henry
    Department of Medicine, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore.
    Perspectives of Egyptian Research Ethics Committees regarding Their Effective Functioning2013In: Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, ISSN 1556-2646, E-ISSN 1556-2654, Vol. 8, no 1, p. 32-44Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The recent increase in research in the Middle East has been associated with the establishment of research ethics committees (RECs). Our aim was to obtain perspectives of RECs regarding the challenges that impede their effective functioning. We conducted in-depth interviews using a semi-structured interview guide. We transcribed and analyzed the interviews to uncover major themes and subthemes. We identified the following themes: membership composition; training needs of members; availability of human and capital resources; role of the national government; concerns with the informed consent process; government scrutiny of research; investigator-related issues; and concerns with transfer of biological samples to other countries. Our interview study revealed several barriers that need to be considered by appropriate stakeholders to enhance adequate functioning of RECs.

  • 9. Silverman, Henry
    et al.
    Edwards, Hillary
    Shamoo, Adil
    Matar, Amal
    Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Public Health and Caring Sciences, Centre for Research Ethics and Bioethics.
    Enhancing Research Ethics Capacity in the Middle East: Experience and Challenges of a Fogarty-Sponsored Training Program2013In: Journal of Empirical Research on Human Research Ethics, ISSN 1556-2646, E-ISSN 1556-2654, Vol. 8, no 5, p. 40-51Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    WE DESCRIBE THE RESEARCH ETHICS capacity needs of the countries from the Middle East region. Against this background, we relate the experience of an international training program focused on providing long-term training in research ethics to individuals from low- and middle-income countries in the Middle East area. We describe our pedagogical approach to training, program changes to address challenges faced, and accomplishments of trainees. Many former trainees developed research ethics curricula in their home institutions, established or enhanced their institutions' research ethics committees, provided leadership to national research ethics systems, and conducted research in research ethics. Based on our analysis, we make recommendations for how trainees can further address current regional research ethics needs in the Middle East and conduct future research. This paper is part of a collection of papers analyzing the Fogarty International Center's International Research Ethics Education and Curriculum Development program.

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