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.
- 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?
- 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