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The University of Southampton
Clinical Ethics and Law at Southampton

Dr Juliette Schuurmans

Juliette Shuurmans

Juliette is a medical graduate and clinical researcher. She has recently started as the first joint PhD student with CELS in Southampton and the ELSI research group (ethical, legal, and social issues of clinical genetics) at the University Medical Center, Groningen (UMCG).

The aim of her PhD is to explore the ELSI aspects of expanded preconception carrier screening in different populations. She has a particular interest in the ethical issues of disclosing a carrier couple result.

At the UMCG, she is involved with the implementation of a population based expanded carrier screening test offered by G.P’s in the northern part of the Netherlands. 5000 women will be invited to participate in a survey along with their partners. Couples can also take the carrier screening test which screens the carrier status of 50 very severe autosomal recessive diseases, before pregnancy. The aim of this pilot is to investigate the psychological impact, level of informed choice, feasibility and uptake of the test.

In Southampton, she intends to focus on carrier couple screening in the fertility clinic. She is planning to conduct a number of qualitative interviews with health care professionals and couples who are referred for fertility treatment, including couples who choose IVF with or without a sperm or egg donor. The aim of this research is to explore the ethical issues arising from carrier couple screening for these couples.



My first experiences as a joint PhD student in the UK - Column by Juliette Schuurmans

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