A recent article published in “Maternal Health, Neonatology, and Perinatology” describes various ethical issues associated with prenatal diagnosis. “Prenatal diagnosis” is an umbrella term encompassing a range of genetic tests which are conducted prior to birth.
These procedures vary in risk level and invasiveness, but all aim to detect any genetic disorders present in the foetus. They can be divided into two categories: preimplantation genetic testing, and prenatal diagnostic procedures during pregnancy.
These procedures generate a large amount of data which may not be well-communicated to couples. Prenatal diagnostic procedures findings can be difficult for parents to interpret and their decisions may therefore be made on the basis of misconceptions about the likelihood or potential severity of a condition.
Moreover, many of the applications of prenatal diagnosis are themselves ethically controversial, and are the subject of significant debate. Overall, there is a need for clear guidelines on the use of prenatal testing.