The American College of Medical Genetics and Genomics (ACMG) recently published a new Clinical Practice Resource that they proclaim recommends an “equitable approach for offering carrier screening to all individuals during pregnancy or preconception.”
We recognize the drawbacks of a screening program based solely on reported ancestry or ethnicity. And we understand that ensuring the same standard of carrier screening is available to all patients regardless of race or ethnic background addresses an important equity concern. However, the ACMG guidelines fall short in several areas:
- Addressing the benefits of carrier screening
- Questionable criteria for determining the severity of the included conditions
- A limited definition of inclusivity
- What choice patients should have in which conditions are or are not included in their personal screening.
The ACMG guidance is broad, calling for offering sequence-based population carrier screening for 113 genetic conditions to all patients who are pregnant or considering pregnancy. The rationale for expanded carrier screening according to the guideline is to allow for informed reproductive decisions. Specifically ACMG states that “reproductive decision making is the established metric for clinical utility of... see more