David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Bioethics 23 (1):68-77 (2009)
Prenatal screening, consisting of maternal serum screening and nuchal translucency screening, is on the verge of expansion, both by being offered to more pregnant women and by screening for more conditions. The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have each recently recommended that screening be extended to all pregnant women regardless of age, disease history, or risk status. This screening is commonly justified by appeal to the value of autonomy, or women's choice. In this paper, I critically examine the value of autonomy in the context of prenatal screening to determine whether it justifies the routine offer of screening and the expansion of screening services. I argue that in the vast majority of cases the option of prenatal screening does not promote or protect women's autonomy. Both a narrow conception of choice as informed consent and a broad conception of choice as relational reveal difficulties in achieving adequate standards of free informed choice. While there are reasons to worry that women's autonomy is not being protected or promoted within the limited scope of current practice, we should hesitate before normalizing it as part of standard prenatal care for all.
|Keywords||maternal serum screening choice prenatal screening relational autonomy ethics informed consent autonomy|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Sylvia Burrow (2012). On The Cutting Edge: Ethical Responsiveness to Cesarean Section Rates. American Journal of Bioethics 12 (7):44-52.
Similar books and articles
Robert H. Blank (1982). Public Policy Implications of Human Genetic Technology: Genetic Screening. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 7 (4):355-374.
Ingrid Burger & Nancy Kass (2009). Screening in the Dark: Ethical Considerations of Providing Screening Tests to Individuals When Evidence is Insufficient to Support Screening Populations. American Journal of Bioethics 9 (4):3-14.
Hans-Martin Sass (1992). Right Not to Know or Duty to Know? Prenatal Screening for Polycystic Renal Disease. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 17 (4):395-405.
Yvonne Lau & Chrystal Jaye (2009). The 'Obligation' to Screen and its Effect on Autonomy. Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 6 (4):495-505.
Sahin Aksoy (2001). Antenatal Screening and its Possible Meaning From Unborn Baby's Perspective. BMC Medical Ethics 2 (1):1-11.
Lucinda Vandervort (2006). Reproductive Choice: Screening Policy and Access to the Means of Reproduction. Human Rights Quarterly 28 (2):438-464.
S. G. Nicholls (2010). Knowledge or Understanding? Informed Choice in the Context of Newborn Bloodspot Screening. Public Health Ethics 3 (2):128-136.
Ruth Chadwick, Henk ten Have, Jfrgen Husted, Mairi Levitt, Tony McGleenan, Darren Shickle & Urban Wiesing (1998). Genetic Screening and Ethics: European Perspectives. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 23 (3):255 – 273.
H.-H. Chiang (2006). Informed Choice of Pregnant Women in Prenatal Screening Tests for Down's Syndrome. Journal of Medical Ethics 32 (5):273-277.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads27 ( #72,796 of 1,410,206 )
Recent downloads (6 months)2 ( #95,293 of 1,410,206 )
How can I increase my downloads?