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INSIDE THE ETHICS COMMITTEE
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Inside the Ethics Committee
Wednesdays 24, 31 May & 7 June 2006 8.00-8.45pm
Repeated Saturdays 27 May, 3 & 10 June 2006 10.15-11.00pm
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Wed 24 May 2006 (rpt Sat) 
Listen to this programme in full
Vivienne Parry returns with a second series of Inside the Ethics Committee.  She is joined by a panel of experts, who sit on clinical ethics committees, to discuss real-life medical cases.
Full Programme Transcript >>

Programme 1 - Genetic Testing for Adult Diseases


This week the panel discusses the harrowing case of Lisa and Gary, a young couple in their early thirties.

Gary has been diagnosed with a hereditary form of bowel cancer called HNPCC. Most people with this condition develop cancer their 40s, but in rare cases it can occur in the 20s.

The couple have been told that Gary is likely to become sterile whilst he's on chemotherapy. However, Lisa falls pregnant and becomes desperately worried about their unborn child.

There's a 50:50 chance their baby will be born with the same genetic defect as Gary. If the child carries the mutant gene, there's a 60-85% chance they will develop this cancer.

Ethical issues

- Should Lisa be allowed to test her unborn foetus to see if it carries the HNPCC gene?

- They also have two other children and Lisa asks for them to be tested, without giving them the results. But is this ethical?

- When her teenage son decides he wants to be tested, how do clinicians decide if he's old enough to handle the truth?

The panel

- Dr Anneke Lucassen, Consultant at Wessex Clinical Genetics Service
- Dr Ainsley Newson, Lecturer in Biomedical Ethics at Bristol University
- Dr Tom Shakespeare, Social Scientist at Newcastle University 

Programme 2 - Pandemic Flu
Programme 3 - Funding for non-NHS drugs

Archive: Series 1

More Information: 
The Nuffield Council on Bioethics

Human Genetics Commission - Genetics Decisions 
GIG - Genetics Interest Group
Gene Watch - Genes and Discrimination 
British Society for Human Genetics
Genethics Club
Antenatal Results and Choices 
Antenatal Screening Information
Contact a Family - for parents of disabled children
BBC Health - HNPCC
Newcastle University - Tom Shakespeare
Bristol University - Ainsley Newson 
Cancer Genetics Group - Anneke Lucassen 
BBC Religion & Ethics
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