March 31 2021
TOKYO – A health ministry expert panel draw up a report Wednesday that clarified the Japanese government’s first-ever commitment to prenatal genetic tests.
The report on a new type of prenatal tests designed to detect chromosomal abnormalities of unborn children from their DNA in expectant mothers’ blood calls for the ministry, academic societies and other parties concerned to establish a new steering committee.
It also includes plans to devise criteria for facilities to conduct the tests and promote the certification of such facilities.
Currently, the Japan Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology plays the main role in compiling such criteria. But the expert panel has found it necessary for discussions on them to adopt a wider perspective.
According to the report and other sources, the proposed steering committee will comprise specialists from the ministry, the JSOG, the Japan Pediatric Society and patient groups as well as those who have expertise in ethics.
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