The recently enacted federal law, the ‘Prenatally and Postnatally Diagnosed Conditions Awareness Act’ (United States Public Law 110–374) seeks to improve opportunities for parents and pregnant women to anticipate and understand the likely life course of children born with Down syndrome and other (unspecified) conditions. The law is in part a response to the continued growth of prenatal screening and testing. For example, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' Practice Bulletin 77 recommends that ‘Screening and invasive diagnostic testing for aneuploidies be available to all women who present for prenatal care before 20 weeks of gestation regardless of maternal age.’ Emerging technologies anticipate an era in which the scope of prenatal screening and testing will be much larger than it is today. Inevitably, more women will find themselves facing the hard question of whether to continue or end a pregnancy in which a fetus has been found to have a significant abnormality. While the new federal law is not likely to have a major impact on obstetric practice, it may be a harbinger of renewed wide‐scale public debate concerning the ethics of prenatal screening. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Prenatal Diagnosis – Wiley
Published: Sep 1, 2009
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