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Using a biomarker acutely to identify babies at risk of serious adverse effects from antibiotics: where is the ‘Terrible Moral and Medical Dilemma’?
  1. Anneke M Lucassen1,
  2. John Henry McDermott2,3,
  3. William Newman2,3
  1. 1 CELS, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK
  2. 2 Manchester Centre for Genomic Medicine, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK
  3. 3 Division of Evolution & Genomic Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK
  1. Correspondence to Professor Anneke M Lucassen, Clinical Ethics and Law (CELS), Faculty of Medicine, University of Southampton and Wessex Clinical Genetics Service, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK; a.m.lucassen{at}


We thank Parker and Wright for engaging in this roundtable debate in such a spirited way. The ‘Pharmacogenetic [test] to Avoid Loss of Hearing’ (PALOH) Trial is the first time a genetic point of care test has been applied in the acute neonatal setting; therefore, it is not surprising that questions have been raised which require debate, discussion and clarification. Parker and Wright misattribute several assumptions to the roundtable authors, which we would like to clarify here. Since they raise wider questions about the PALOH trial itself, several of the roundtable discussants have made a joint response.

  • minors/parental consent
  • genethics
  • research ethics
  • human tissue
  • genetic information

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  • Twitter @annekeluc, @John_H_McD, @geneticbill

  • Contributors AML drafted the manuscript with input from JHM and WN. All authors proofed and agreed the final version of the manuscript.

  • Funding WN is supported by the Manchester NIHR BRC (IS-BRC-1215-20007) AML’s work is supported by funding from a Wellcome Trust collaborative award 208053/Z/17/Z.

  • Competing interests WN is PI for the PALOH Trial ISRCTN13704894. JHM is on the steering group for the PALOH Trial. Neither JHM nor WGN have a pecuniary interest in the outcome of the PALOH project. AML has nothing to do with the PALOH trial but contacted JHM and WGN on receipt of the response from Parker and Wright.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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