Ruth Schwartz Cowan, an historian of science, technology and medicine, is Janice and Julian Bers Professor of the History and Sociology of Science at the University of Pennsylvania. Her most recent book is Heredity and hope: the case for genetic screening (Harvard University Press, 2008).
Moving up the slippery slope: Mandated genetic screening on Cyprus†
Article first published online: 23 JAN 2009
Copyright © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
American Journal of Medical Genetics Part C: Seminars in Medical Genetics
Special Issue: Religion and Genomics: Navigating Pathways and Perspectives of Patient Care
Volume 151C, Issue 1, pages 95–103, 15 February 2009
How to Cite
Cowan, R. S. (2009), Moving up the slippery slope: Mandated genetic screening on Cyprus. Am. J. Med. Genet., 151C: 95–103. doi: 10.1002/ajmg.c.30202
How to cite this article: Cowan RS. 2009. Moving up the slippery slope: Mandated genetic screening on cyprus. Am J Med Genet Part C Semin Med Genet 151C:95–103.
- Issue published online: 23 JAN 2009
- Article first published online: 23 JAN 2009
- National Human Genome Research Institute. Grant Number: 1 R13 HG004689-01
- genetic screening;
- genetic screening;
- prenatal diagnosis;
Many social scientists and bioethicists have argued that genetic screening is a new form of eugenics. Examination of the development of the quasi-mandated screening program for β-thalassemia in the Republic of Cyprus (1970–1984) demonstrates that there is nothing eugenic about modern genetic screening practices. The Cypriot screening program involves mandated premarital carrier screening, voluntary prenatal diagnosis (originally through fetoscopy, now through CVS), and voluntary termination of afflicted pregnancies—all at public expense. In the Republic of Cyprus, the mandating agency for genetic screening is the established church, so this examination also demonstrates that religious authorities with profound objections to abortion can balance that moral precept against others, such as the imperative to reduce suffering that sometimes conflict with it. © 2009 Wiley-Liss, Inc.