Letter: Scan the options
Friday 12 March 1999
Unless there is a specific increase in risk of abnormality because of past history, tests in pregnancy are offered as screening for abnormalities. These tests should be explained as such and parents should not be offered, or accept, them as "routine".
Even an early scan to confirm the stage of a pregnancy should only be offered with the proviso that there is a chance of detecting signs which may be associated with foetal abnormalities, even though they are not performed for this reason before 16 weeks in most of the country.
Under these circumstances, parents have the opportunity to accept testing if they understand the implications and want to know the results. Parents seek reassurance of normality, which can never be assured. All screening tests imply a possible need for subsequent diagnostic investigations and perhaps intervention, even though most babies will be normal in the end. If parents do not wish to run the risk of finding potential signs of abnormality, then they need not accept testing.
Senior Registrar in Obstetrics and Gynaecology
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 2 Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
- 3 The Simpsons death: Creator Al Jean would 'kill himself' before character like Homer or Lisa
- 4 British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Black-ish: America's new 'racist' TV sitcom has had a mixed reception
Cilla, episode 3, ITV - review: Ed Stoppard steals the limelight as Beatles manager Brian Epstein
The Simpsons death: Creator Al Jean would 'kill himself' before character like Homer or Lisa
'Before They Pass Away': Endangered communities photographed 'like Kate Moss'
The Jungle Book: A tale as old as time
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
'Women, walk wherever you want' posters taken down in Stamford Hill following 'unacceptable' signs separating men and women
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
- < Previous
- Next >