Sequencing the Genome of Every UK Baby Would Be an Ethical Minefield

November 7, 2019

(New Scientist) – Plans for the National Health Service to sequence the DNA of every baby born in the UK, starting with a pilot scheme of 20,000 children, were announced by health minister Matt Hancock this week. It sounds like the UK is leading the way in high-tech healthcare – but doctors are saying the idea is ethically questionable. Babies are already tested for certain health conditions soon after birth, so it may seem as though sequencing their genome, their entire set of genes, is a simple upgrade of this routine screening, but that isn’t the case.