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
Film Leonardo DiCaprio hunts Tom Hardy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Stuart Baggs dies: Apprentice star 'The Brand' found dead aged 27
- 2 Whoopi Goldberg tells Cara Delevingne to suck it up: 'She's not famous. I'M famous'
- 3 1000 people played Foo Fighters simultaneously to try and get them to play their city
- 4 Every club should be like Labour – you can’t join as a new member unless you’re already a member
- 5 Doctor Who: Christopher Eccleston says why he left the BBC series after just one series
Why Harry Potter's aged 35, not 26
Frank Ocean, where's that new album at?
Top Gear trio Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May heading to Amazon Prime for new car show
Benedict Cumberbatch has 1,480 lines in Hamlet - so what's the secret to actors' memory skills?
Drake responds to Meek Mill's 'diss' track 'Wanna Know' by laughing at the rapper on Instagram
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
Is Britain really full up? Are migrants taking our jobs? Leading academic answers the most common anti-immigration claims
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
While we fixate on Calais, the Home Office is quietly deporting dozens of migrants on 'ghost flights'