Starting the search for common ground

S Simon Public Seen by 143

I want to try and give you a sense of how a group might start its search for common ground, even though we have not fully prepared ourselves for this process - no one has explored all the approaches but please review the choicebook and discussions in the other threads to try and get a sense of the issues and what's at stake for supporters of all the approaches.

Once you have reviewed all the approaches, the next step is to think about and identify 3-5 policy proposals/actions that you think most people could live with. These might come from one approach but will more likely be a combination of actions drawn from all the approaches. It's also possible that you might think of a policy action that is not associated with any of the approaches. (I wouldn't normally limit it to a max of 5 actions but I don't want you to do too much work).

Once you have identified your actions, post them to this threadLate tomorrow, I will collate all your proposed actions.

We'll likely see that a lot of you will proposal some similar actions and that there will also be a few actions that have been proposed by only one or a few people. While this gives us a sense of how much support there is for proposals, it would not be the final word. The collated list would form the agenda for the next set of discussions aimed at being able to put forward the group's advice - but we're not going to attempt this in this simulation.

This is the one task that I want you to do as individuals and I don't want you to do any more work that just post your actions. There's no need to enter into any further discussion in your group as you've done enough work.

Finally, here's a facilitator's rule of thumb for knowing when people are ready to search for common ground. A group is ready when everyone can make a good case for the approach they support least and also point out the problems and weaknesses of the approach they most favour.


Janice Hemi Fri 22 Nov 2019 2:29AM

My policy suggestions seem a bit “polly-anna” but here goes!

1.       The decision to test/screen is the decision of mothers/parents.  Health practitioners must ensure mothers/parents (and when requested, family/whanau/significant support people) are provided information and support in a manner that recognises the needs of the mother/parents, and ensures informed decision making.


2.       The decision to terminate a pregnancy is the decision of mothers/parents.  Health practitioners must ensure mothers/parents (and when requested, family/whanau/significant support people) are provided information and support in a manner that recognises the needs of the mother/parents, and ensures informed decision making.


3.       Informed consent, information and required support will be provided to mothers/ parents with regard to retaining and use of all genetic material.


4.       Government provide required infrastructure and resourcing that ensures children, young people and adults with a disability can thrive.  (will definitely require a stated definition of what is a disability!)



Beth Hampton Fri 22 Nov 2019 2:58AM

My recommended actions are largely to support facilitating equitable access to the technology:

  • Funding to develop culturally appropriate, accessible information resources that meet the varying needs of different groups. This should be coupled by public awareness campaigns so that people know the information is available.

  • Increase funding for pre-birth testing for those who are considered high-risk, and also for support (e.g. genetic counselling etc). Monitoring should be undertaken of who accesses this funding to determine whether it is being utilised by all groups in society. If it is not, under-served groups should be targeted to increase their uptake.

  • Develop trainings/competencies so that medical practitioners are able to engage with patients in a targeted, appropriate way


Wendy Nguyen Fri 22 Nov 2019 4:19AM

I agree with the recommendations of @Beth Hampton. Besides, I suggest that:

  1. The information about pre-birth testing should be available in variable channels (face-to-face dialogue, post to home, community boards) and different languages (English, Maori, and Asian).

  2. Having a certain budget to support those who would like to do pre-birth testing not only about subsiding the service's price but also about the related processes with the health provider before doing the test.

  3. The government, particular The Ministry of Health should work with iwi and hapu leaders, Maori health providers to figure out the barriers (customs, rules, finance) that Maori women are facing when approaching pre-birth testing and find the potential solutions.


Simon Fri 22 Nov 2019 10:11AM

Good work Janice, Beth and Wendy.

I was planning to collate your proposals today but am now going to do it tomorrow. Please accept my apologies.


Josie Nafatali Sat 23 Nov 2019 3:17AM

Apologies for the late post team.

I concur with @Beth Hampton and @Wendy Nguyen that funding for culturally appropriate resources to be developed for target groups should be coupled with public campaigns.

I also agree that more investment is required to improve and increase partnership with iwi and hapu leaders and Maori Health providers. This will also apply to Pacific communities and health providers. By creating a safe environment for discussions and resources to be accessible, it could combat other unintended issues such as depression, anxiety, and possibly suicidal thoughts and attempts?

Training and support given to medical professionals to be able to provide appropriate medical care and support, as well as ensure they are culturally appropriate is important. This will need to also factor in an understanding of the women, whanau, community and environmental factors to help keep interactions neutral and objective.

As @Janice Hemi mentioned, effort and time to develop a seamless and interactive infrastructure is important to help create a continuity and consistency of service for women. Women and whanau should not have to feel marginalized based on their entry point into the health system or have to 'go without' service' due to demographics, availability of trained medical resources and practitioners.