Translational Research and Implementation Science: Tools for Bioethicists to Study the Ethical Challenges of New Technologies
The implementation of a new technology is one step in the translation of a discovery into a clinical application. Numerous models have been proposed to study such translation; Goering, Holland and Kelley’s model puts forward priorities that resonate with bioethics. We propose the application of a tool from the implementation sciences, the Consolidated Framework for Implementation Research (CFIR), to identify the ethical issues of a new technology. This tool is designed to identify the barriers and facilitators to the implementation of a technology and is therefore part of the translational research model. An example is the non-invasive prenatal genomic test (NIPGT). This test is offered in some provinces in Canada as a second-line test for pregnant persons with a high probability of having a fetus with aneuploidy. Potential innovations of NIPGT are to offer it as a first-line test and to expand the number of genetic conditions screened. We thus propose to use CFIR to identify the ethical issues that arise from the barriers and facilitators to these innovations in NIPGT. By identifying barriers and facilitators to the implementation of a technology, this tool allows bioethicists to use a proven tool from another discipline to study ethical issues. Bioethicists can then turn to their traditional tools to identify the ethical issues raised by these elements. Our proposal is just one example of what this approach can accomplish: identifying ethical issues in a new technology in an innovative way.
Copyright (c) 2022 Tierry Morel-Laforce, Vardit Ravitsky, Anne-Marie Laberge
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