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A child born with Edward's syndrome: the legal and moral duty to accede to the request for parentage determination
  1. Tak Kwong Chan1,
  2. Edwin Hui2,
  3. Brian Chung3
  1. 1Department of Anatomy, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  2. 2Regent College, Vancouver, Canada
  3. 3Hong Kong University, Hong Kong, Hong Kong
  1. Correspondence to Dr Tak Kwong Chan, Department of Anatomy, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong, Hong Kong; theo{at}


Advances in medical technology inevitably bring about different kinds of ethical challenges for practising doctors. The following hypothetical case of assisted reproduction is presented as an example. A boy is born with Edward's syndrome following assisted reproduction. The parents suspect that there has been an error of embryo mix-up. They challenge the parenthood and request a genetic test to determine the biological parentage of the neonate. Should the attending paediatrician in this case accede to the request? We argue that the paediatrician has no legal obligation to offer the test, although it might be lawful and ethical to provide the test subject to the outcome of our proposed three-step risk assessment.

  • Clinical Ethics
  • Children
  • Genetic Screening/Testing
  • Legal Aspects
  • Minors/Parental Consent

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