Contact Information

Dr. Olivia M. Y. NGAN

Research Assistant Professor, Medical Ethics and Humanities Unit
Research Fellow, Centre for Medical Ethics and Law
The University of Hong Kong

PhD (CUHK), MS (Columbia), BS (Michigan), FRSPH

Dr Olivia Ngan has a multidisciplinary background in neuroscience (BS, University in Michigan – Ann Arbor), bioethics (MS, Columbia University), and public health (PhD, Chinese University of Hong Kong). Prior to joining the Unit in 2022, she was a lecturer and bioethics co-ordinator (pre-clinical curriculum) at the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

She has a research interest in reproductive health, public health genomics, rare diseases, and empirical bioethics. Her primary work explores ethical issues in the translational application of emerging technologies in genomic medicine and healthcare services, including reproductive technologies, prenatal screening and diagnosis, and newborn screening. In her doctoral work, she employed a mixed method study, looking at the public health and social implication of non-invasive parental test (NIPT) screening for chromosomal aneuploidy in the two-tiered healthcare system. At present, she is collaborating with Hong Kong Children’s Hospital to explore public receptivity towards the storage of dried blood spot cards and whole-genome sequencing newborn screening. She is also interested in examining how the pandemic exacerbates health issues among vulnerable populations. Over the years, she has authored books and published papers in international peer-reviewed journals in public health, healthcare research, ethics, and medical education.

In addition to research, she is also passionate about cultivating ethical sensitivity among medical students. She awards courseware and teaching development grants in the capacity of PI, leading bioethics learning activities outside the classroom. She also provides supervision for undergraduate and postgraduate student projects related to medical ethics and medical education, such as moral distress.



More Publications
  • Estoce, RHY, Ngan, OMY, Calderon, PEE (2023). How Do COVID-19 Vaccine Policies Affect the Young Working Class in the Philippines? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health20(3), 2593.
  • Ngan, OMY, Wong, WK, Tam, JC, Li, CK (2022). Assessing the Content Quality of Online Parental Resources about Newborn Metabolic Disease Screening: A Content Analysis. International Journal of Neonatal Screening8(4), 63.
  • Cho C, Ko, WY, Ngan, OMY, Wong, WT (2022). Exploring Professionalism Dilemma and Moral Distress through Medical Students’ Eyes: A Mixed-Method Study. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health19(17), 10487.
  • Ngan, OMY, Ang, CE, Balmores, MDC, Nagtalon, SP, Calderon, PE (2022). Reproductive Health Deemed “Non-Essential” During COVID-19: A Neglected Health Vulnerability. Asia-Pacific Journal of Public Health34(8), 868.
  • Ngan, OMY, Sim, JH (2021). Evolution of bioethics education in the medical programme: A tale of two medical schools. International Journal of Ethics Education6(1), 37-50.
  • Ngan, OMY, Kelmenson, AM (2021). Using big data tools to analyze digital footprint in the COVID-19 pandemic: Some public health ethics considerations. Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health33(1), 129-130.
  • Ravitsky, V, Roy, MC, Haidar, H, Henneman, L, Marshall, J, Newson, AJ, Ngan OMY, Nov-Klaiman, T. (2021). The emergence and global spread of noninvasive prenatal testing. Annual review of genomics and human genetics22, 309-338.
  • Sanip, S, Ngan OMY (2021). The Vulnerability of Migrant Workers in Global COVID-19 Pandemic: Highlights from Malaysia and Hong Kong. Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health1, 2.
  • Ngan, OMY, Li, CK. (2020). Ethical Issues of Dried Blood Spot Storage and Its Secondary Use After Newborn Screening Programme in Hong Kong. Hong Kong Journal of Paediatrics (New Series)25(1), 8-15.
  • Ngan, OMY, Yi, H, Bryant, L, Sahota, DS, Chan, OYM, & Ahmed, S. (2020). Parental expectations of raising a child with disability in decision-making for prenatal testing and termination of pregnancy: A mixed methods study. Patient Education and Counseling103(11), 2373-2383.
  • Bergstresser, SM, Ghias, K, Lane, S, Lau, WM, Hwang, ISS, Ngan, OMY, Klitzman, RL, Ng, HK (2020). What Does It Mean for a Case to be ‘Local’?: the Importance of Local Relevance and Resonance for Bioethics Education in the Asia-Pacific Region. Asian Bioethics Review12, 173-194.
  • Ngan, OMY, Bergstresser, SM, Sanip, S, Emdadul Haque, ATM, Chan, HYL, Au, DKS (2020). Cultural considerations in forgoing enteral feeding: A comparison between the Hong Kong Chinese, North American, and Malaysian Islamic patients with advanced dementia at the end‐of‐Developing world bioethics20(2), 105-114.
  • Sim, JH, Ngan, OMY, Ng, HK (2019). Bioethics education in the medical Programme among Malaysian medical schools: where are we now? Journal of medical education and curricular development6, 2382120519883887.
  • Ahmed, S, Yi, H, Dong, D, Zhu, J, Jafri, H, Rashid, Y, Ngan, OMY, Ahmed, M. (2018). Interpretations of autonomous decision-making in antenatal genetic screening among women in China, Hong Kong and Pakistan. European Journal of Human Genetics26(4), 495-504.
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