Document Detail

Informing on prenatal screening for Down syndrome prior to conception. An empirical and ethical perspective.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22302760     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
In most Western countries, information on prenatal screening for Down syndrome is provided in the first-trimester of pregnancy. The purpose of this study was to examine whether this information should additionally be provided before pregnancy to improve the informed decision-making process. In an empirical study, we obtained data from pregnant women with respect to their preferences regarding information on prenatal screening preconceptionally. Questionnaire data (n = 510) showed that 55.7% of responding women considered participating in prenatal screening for Down syndrome before pregnancy. 28.0% of women possessed information on prenatal screening preconceptionally. 84.6% preferred not to receive information preconceptionally in retrospect. In an ethical analysis, we elaborated on these preferences by weighing pros and cons. We considered two arguments against the provision of information on prenatal screening preconceptionally: women's preference to receive information in a step-by-step manner, and the risk of providing a directive message. We identified three reasons supporting its provision preconceptionally: the likelihood of making an informed decision could, firstly, be increased by "unchaining" the initial information from possible subsequent decisions, and, secondly, by providing women sufficient time to deliberate. Thirdly, the probability of equal access to prenatal screening may increase. To conclude with, we propose to incorporate an information offer on prenatal screening for Down syndrome in preconception care consultations. By offering information, instead of providing information, prospective parents are enabled to either accept or decline the information, which respects both their right to know and their right not-to-know. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Marleen Schoonen; Boukje van der Zee; Hajo Wildschut; Inez de Beaufort; Guido de Wert; Harry de Koning; Marie-Louise Essink-Bot; Eric Steegers
Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-2-2
Journal Detail:
Title:  American journal of medical genetics. Part A     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1552-4833     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-2-3     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  101235741     Medline TA:  Am J Med Genet A     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Department of Public Health, Erasmus MC, University Medical Center Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
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