Pregnant woman gets an ultrasound scan

Ethics and the beginning of life. Ethical frameworks for prenatal diagnostics

New methods for prenatal diagnostics face caregivers and families with difficult ethical choices. Is it justifiable to test a fetus on future incurable diseases (e.g. Huntington’s disease)? What if an increased risk of a life-threatening disease is detected (e.g. hereditary breast cancer)? Is choosing to terminate a pregnancy in this case the right decision? What is the value of the unborn life in relation to the quality of life of the future child?

In this short course (lectures are in Dutch) we reflect on ‘hard cases’ in prenatal diagnostics. Ethical frameworks are offered to caregivers and families, to help them express and discuss ethical concerns. This way, ethical reflection on prenatal diagnostics becomes a test case for reflecting on difficult life choices in general. Families learn to deal with dilemmas. Professionals (physicians, caregivers) practice giving the appropriate ethical support.

The course is open to anyone interested in the subject – professional caregivers, family counselors and  everyone who is faced with this kind of ethical issue.

Adelheid Rigo is doctor in Philosophy and master in Clinical Psychology. She teaches Psychology and counsels a project group of students of Family Studies (at the university college Odisee) on bioethical issues. Together with Sylvia Hübel she conducted the practice-driven research project ‘Prenatal screening and diagnostics. A Family Studies based framework for dealing with ethical problems following the growing technological possibilities of prenatal diagnostics’. 

Erik Claes is master in Philosophy and doctor in Jurisprudence. He teaches philosophical-ethical courses in Family Studies and Social Work (at Odisee) and works as a part time lecturer for the Institute for Criminology at KU Leuven.

Date: Friday May 27th, 09.00-16.30.

Venue: Campus Institute for Family Studies, Huart Hamoirlaan 136, 1030 Schaarbeek (Belgium).

Fee: 50 euro (50% discount for Odisee students – please mention your student number when registering).

Please use the online subscription form, and fill in the code HIG/Ethiek
This short course is offered only in Dutch!


Pregnant woman gets an ultrasound scan
Adelheid Rigo
Adelheid Rigo

Telefoon: 02/240.68.40
Locatie: Campus Schaarbeek

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