Mary Petrou : Screening for beta thalassaemia:
Soon after, confidential premarital screening was made mandatory among Greek Cypriots by the Greek Orthodox Church and among Turkish Cypriots by the civil authorities.
Cyprus indeed has a form of mandatory screening.
WHO - Genomics and World Health - Page 150 : When countries implement genetic screening programmes, which by definition are directed at a specific population, individuals should not be included in these programmes without having given their free and
informed consent. Even when the screening is only to establish epidemiological data, the informed consent of participants must be obtained.
As Cyprus policy doesn't include informed consent, but instead mandatory screening, they seem to be in violation of the WHO policy.
Nuffield Council on Bioethics Consent
5.3 The 1993 Report recommended that adequately informed consent should be a requirement
for all genetic screening programmes (see also Appendix A). In this section we consider subsequent developments relating to consent. The Council has concluded in reports published since 1993 that the ethically significant requirement of consent is not that it should be complete, but rather that it should be genuine.
So people who think about the issues of ethics also value consent.
Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Dignity of the Human Being with regard to the Application of Biology and Medicine: Convention on Human Rights and Biomedicine
Chapter II – Consent
Article 5 – General rule
An intervention in the health field may only be carried out after the person concerned has given free and informed consent to it.
This person shall beforehand be given appropriate information as to the purpose and nature of the intervention as well as on its consequences and risks.
The person concerned may freely withdraw consent at any time.
Northern Cyprus, where the Turkish civil authorities operate, isn't recognized as a country by the international community and thus not easily bound by treaties.
EU-Cyprus seems to get around that treaty by letting the requirement of consent be made by the church.
Mary Petrou : Screening for beta thalassaemia: It was then found that 98% of at-risk couples detected just prior to marriage proceed to marry. Nevertheless, the annual number of new births of children with thalassaemia major has decreased almost to zero in Cyprus, because couples use the information on genetic risk in a variety of ways to obtain a healthy family.
It seems like we have a Christian church who pushes its members to abort some of their children in ways that would probably not be possible if done by a secular organisation.
We have a church that uses their freedom of religion to address a modern issue.