In recent years, considerable progress has been made in molecular genetic research, which promises new applications in medicine with regard to identifying the causes of diseases and risk prognoses. As a result, genetic analyses are increasingly becoming an integral part of common clinical practice. However, genetic findings can carry potentially far-reaching consequences. For example, the current discussion on the non-invasive prenatal screening test for trisomy 21 has shown that new diagnostic methods can have profound social consequences, e.g. for dealing with disability.
In light of these developments, the Federal Government has commissioned the German Ethics Council to prepare an Opinion on the future of genetic diagnosis.
In order to get a comprehensive overview of the latest technical methods of genetic diagnostics and their use in medical practice, the German Ethics Council organises a public hearing on 22 March 2012, to which it has invited experts from the fields of technical-scientific development and practical application.
We cordially invite members of the public to attend this hearing as members of the audience.