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Experiences of Faith Group Members Using New Reproductive and Genetic Technologies: A Qualitative Interview Study

Scully, Jackie Leach; Banks, Sarah; Song, Robert; Haq, Jackie

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Jackie Leach Scully

Jackie Haq


This paper explores the experiences of members of faith groups deciding whether or not to use new reproductive or genetic technologies (NRGTs). It is based on 16 in-depth, semi-structured interviews with people with direct experience of NRGTs. Participants identified as members of Christian or Muslim faith traditions and had been faced with deciding whether or not to make use of novel forms of fertility treatment or genetic testing. The findings show that members of faith groups may experience specific barriers of access, and distinctive ethical difficulties, when considering the use of different forms of NRGTs. Both Christian and Muslim interviewees reported difficulties in obtaining information on the official faith teaching, or found that their faith group had not yet crafted an official position. Participants’ needs for information, and the opportunity to discuss the faith implications of their clinical choices, were not being met in either the clinic or the faith setting. This paper concludes that clinics should indicate more clearly their acknowledgement of patients’ faith concerns. Appropriate training is needed for both healthcare professionals and chaplains, while faith groups should be encouraged to engage with healthcare providers to ensure that guidance is available to their members.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 18, 2016
Online Publication Date Nov 14, 2016
Publication Date Jan 2, 2017
Deposit Date Feb 24, 2016
Publicly Available Date Mar 1, 2016
Journal Human Fertility
Print ISSN 1464-7273
Electronic ISSN 1742-8149
Publisher British Fertility Society
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 20
Issue 1
Pages 22-29
Public URL


Accepted Journal Article (482 Kb)

Copyright Statement
© 2016 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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