Conflict, Rule of Law and Society (CROLS) researcher, Jeffrey Wale, has published a paper on Screening Human Life in the Architecture Media Politics Society (AMPS) Journal Proceedings Series. This publication is the product of a conference on Health: The Design, Planning and Politics of How and Where We Live at the University of West England earlier in 2018.
The context is the evolution of prenatal genetic testing against a backdrop of expanding human population, dwindling natural resources and an upsurge in ‘rights based ethics’. The simplicity of these tests, their global availability and the potential for normalisation, create the opportunity for a societal shift. Should parents perceive a benefit in knowing information, and commercial providers see a demand and potential for profit from testing, it may be difficult to hold back the tide once the door has been opened.
The paper examines the aims/public narratives associated with this technology, and the disruptive potential of these tests in ethical and regulatory terms as they are released into a global village. It also explicitly considers how and where we live and access services impacts on parental decision making and the development of these tests.