On 19 October 2020 BioNews published a comment piece by specialist fertility and family lawyer Louisa Ghevaert which assesses the UK government’s new National Genomic Healthcare Strategy, Genome UK.
This new genomic healthcare strategy envisages creating the most advanced genomic healthcare system in the world and ensuring the UK remains a global leader in genetics and genomics. As such, it marks an important step forward in embedding genomics into mainstream healthcare and a shift towards much-needed preventative and precision medicine to reduce disease, pain, suffering and create healthier populations.
However, Louisa explains that this genomic healthcare strategy does not go far enough in repositioning future healthcare strategy, policy and practice. Despite its aim to refocus the healthcare system more towards prevention, earlier detection of disease and promotion of well-being, surprisingly it makes only limited references to reproductive medicine and conception. She explains that by not fully articulating and integrating human reproduction and fertility treatment into future genomic healthcare strategy, it does not represent a truly cohesive approach; it needs to encompass the whole fertility continuum from pre-conception through to birth and future genetic legacy. As a result, its healthcare paradigm fails to take full account of the immensely powerful, multi-faceted and transformational nature of genomic technology that increasingly has the capacity to influence and redefine human reproduction and genetic legacy and not just mainstream healthcare delivery in setting our genomic healthcare strategy ‘over the next ten years’ and beyond.
To read Louisa’s full comment piece in BioNews click here.
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