Health Ethics Seminar and Health Ethics Week Event

Advances in Genetic Testing: Professional and Consumer Perspectives
Dick Sobsey, EdD Professor Emeritus, John Dossetor Health Ethics Centre
& Faculty of Education
Monday, 7 March 2011 12:00—12:45pm Room 1J2.47 Walter MacKenzie Health Sciences Centre
University of Alberta

Chromosomal Microarray Analysis (CMA) is a new and still evolving technology. It differs from earlier types of genetic testing in its ability to find much smaller deletions and duplications of genetic material and its capacity to simultaneously test for a very large number of genetic atypicalities. It can be employed prenatally or with any individual. Until now, it has been used primarily to diagnose developmental syndromes not diagnosed by conventional methods and to detect these conditions prenatally when there is a know genetic risk. This type of testing presents some unique ethical challenges. For example, because the test can detect so many genetic atypicalities, the test may reveal conditions other than those it was intended to detect or rule out, and in a significant number of cases, it may reveal duplications or deletions for which the clinical implications remain unknown. As the technology improves, CMA becomes more widely available, and costs come down, some authorities advocate offering this test to all pregnant women. This presentation considers the perspectives of professionals and healthcare consumers in addressing the unique ethical challenges of CMA and other potential new genetic tests.
To register for Telehealth please: visit, or contact your local Telehealth provider, or
For more information, please call 780-492-6676 or visit
JDHEC 5-16 University Terrace University of Alberta Phone: 780-492-6676 Fax: 780-492-0673 Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2T4

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