John Libbey Eurotext

Sciences sociales et santé


Une politique de santé ≪ a priori ≫. Le dépistage néonatal de la mucoviscidose en Bretagne Volume 22, numéro 4, Décembre 2004

Centre de Recherche sur les Enjeux Contemporains en Santé Publique (CRESP), INSERM-Université Paris 13-EHESS, UFR SMBH, 74, rue Marcel-Cachin, 93017 Bobigny, FRANCE
  • Page(s) : 35-60
  • Année de parution : 2004

When neonatal screening for cystic fibrosis (NSCF) became official French policy in 2002, the value of such screening was a subject of international debate. This study looks at a regional NSCF program first launched in Brittany in 1988. At that time, studies on the benefits of screening for affected children had produced little positive evidence and some contradictory results; the 1988 program may be termed an ≪ a priori ≫ health policy in the philosophical sense in that it was implemented prior to experiments for proving the benefit of screening and independently of such experiments. This research focuses on the conditions and types of action logic operative in the Brittany regional health policy in the context of the development of genetics. It shows that the biomedical arguments developed and cited (biological, epidemiological, and medical) helped legitimate NSCF and were disseminated quite broadly. It also shows how these arguments resonated with action not only in the biomedical sector but far outside it, among part of the Breton population.