3118.0 Should we have a choice? The dilemma of mandatory screening

Monday, November 8, 2010: 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Issues of consent and permission challenge public health researchers and practitioners across many domains of health. The invited papers presented in this session will address ethical issues related to consent in newborn screening, mandatory vaccination of healthcare workers, and informed consent for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. While seemingly disparate, these topics will generate discussion of the ethical, legal, moral, and professional implications of consent and permission faced in many areas of public health. The first paper will examine one aspect of consent, that of the issue of mandatory vaccination of healthcare workers. The policies and practices of mandatory vaccination in emergency and non-emergency contexts will be contrasted and discussed. This presentation will address the ethical, legal, and professional considerations of mandatory vaccination, and the importance of these programs to public health. The second paper will consider a different aspect of consent and permission, that of newborn screening programs. This presentation will discuss the history of newborn screening programs, and the impact of legislation and policy upon the programs. The third paper will then discuss the implications of opt-out policies present in the mandatory newborn screening programs of many states. This presentation will address recent changes in the policies, including expansion of screening panels and the use of residual biological samples for research purposes. Issues involved in the promotion of parental choice about newborn screening while preserving the clinical and public health benefits of these programs will be addressed. The final presentation will address the ethical considerations involved in informed consent for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The paper will discuss the balance of autonomy and informed consent for these individuals. This presentation will address the context of consent to participate in community programs and services. Taken together, these papers will address numerous ethical, legal, and professional issues to consider in balancing the rights of individuals and the needs of public health across audiences and health contexts.
Session Objectives: Discuss the ethical implications of opt-out clauses for newborn screening programs. Compare the ethical issues for mandatory vaccination of healthcare workers in emergency and non-emergency contexts. Describe how informed consent practices can be implemented for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Patricia Page, MS, CGC

Opting-Out is Hard to Do: Challenges to Mandatory Newborn Screening Programs
Aaron J. Goldenberg, PhD, MPH and Beth Tarini, MD, MS

See individual abstracts for presenting author's disclosure statement and author's information.

Organized by: Genomics Forum
Endorsed by: APHA-Committee on Women's Rights, Socialist Caucus, Social Work

CE Credits: Medical (CME), Health Education (CHES), Nursing (CNE), Public Health (CPH)

See more of: Genomics Forum