Are We Ready for Whole Population Genomic Sequencing of Asymptomatic Newborns?
Vears DF., Savulescu J., Christodoulou J., Wall M., Newson AJ.
The introduction of genomic sequencing technologies into routine newborn screening programs in some form is not only inevitable but also already occurring in some settings. The question is therefore not "if" but "when and how" genomic newborn screening (GNBS) should be implemented. In April 2022, the Centre for Ethics of Paediatric Genomics held a one-day symposium exploring ethical issues relating to the use of genomic sequencing in a range of clinical settings. This review article synthesises the panel discussion and presents both the potential benefits of wide-scale implementation of genomic newborn screening, as well as its practical and ethical issues, including obtaining appropriate consent, and health system implications. A more in-depth understanding of the barriers associated with implementing genomic newborn screening is critical to the success of GNBS programs, both from a practical perspective and also in order to maintain public trust in an important public health initiative.