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Recent dramatic reductions in the timeframe in which genomic sequencing can deliver results means its application in time-sensitive screening programs such as newborn screening (NBS) is becoming a reality. As genomic NBS (gNBS) programs are developed around the world, there is an increasing need to address the ethical and social issues that such initiatives raise. This study therefore aimed to explore the Australian public's perspectives and values regarding key gNBS characteristics and preferences for service delivery. We recruited English-speaking members of the Australian public over 18 years of age via social media; 75 people aged 23-72 participated in 1 of 15 focus groups. Participants were generally supportive of introducing genomic sequencing into newborn screening, with several stating that the adoption of such revolutionary and beneficial technology was a moral obligation. Participants consistently highlighted receiving an early diagnosis as the leading benefit, which was frequently linked to the potential for early treatment and intervention, or access to other forms of assistance, such as peer support. Informing parents about the test during pregnancy was considered important. This study provides insights into the Australian public's views and preferences to inform the delivery of a gNBS program in the Australian context.

Original publication




Journal article


Int J Neonatal Screen

Publication Date





bioethics, genomic sequencing, newborn screening, public views, qualitative