Reproductive and genetic medicine are evolving rapidly, and new technologies are already impacting current practices. This includes technologies that can identify a couples’ risk of having a child with a genetic disorder. Responsible implementation of new technologies requires evaluation of safety and ethics. Valuable insights for shaping governance processes are provided by various stakeholders involved, including healthcare professionals. Their willingness to adopt these technologies and guide the necessary systemic changes is required for the successful implementation of these technologies. In this study, twenty-one semi-structured interviews were conducted with professionals from different disciplines in the field of reproductive and genetic healthcare in the Netherlands. Three emerging technologies were discussed: expanded carrier screening (ECS), non-invasive prenatal diagnosis (NIPD) and germline genome editing (GGE). By probing stakeholders’ views, we explored how culture, structure and practice in healthcare is being shaped by innovations and changing dynamics in genetic and reproductive medicine. The general consensus was that the implementation of reproductive genetic technologies nationwide is a slow process in Dutch healthcare. A “typical Dutch approach” emerged that is characterized by restrictive legislation, broad support for people living with disabilities, values of an egalitarian society and limited commercialisation. Different scenarios for embedding ECS in future practice were envisioned, while implementation of NIPD in clinical practice was considered obvious. Views on GGE varied among stakeholders. Previous implementation examples in the Netherlands suggest introduction of new technology involves an organized collective learning process, with pilot studies and stepwise implementation. In addition, introducing and scaling up new technologies is complex due to perceived barriers from the legislative framework and the complex relationship between the government and stakeholders in this area. This paper describes how the international trends and advances of technologies are expected to manifest itself in a national setting.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0269719
Issue number6 June
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2022

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