Hypatia 36 (1):1-21 (2021)

Joshua Miller
Georgetown University
Noninvasive prenatal testing promises to enhance women's reproductive autonomy by providing genetic information about the fetus, especially in the detection of genetic impairments like Down syndrome. In practice, however, NIPT provides opportunities for intensified manipulation and control over women's reproductive decisions. Applying Miranda Fricker's concept of epistemic injustice to prenatal screening, this article analyzes how medical professionals impair reproductive decision-making by perpetuating testimonial injustice. They do so by discrediting positive parental testimony about what it is like to raise a child with DS. We argue that this testimonial injustice constitutes a twofold harm: people with DS and their family members who claim that parenting a child with DS may be a rewarding and joyous experience are harmed when they are systematically silenced, disbelieved, and/or denied epistemic credibility by medical professionals, and pregnant women are harmed since they might make poorly informed choices without access to all relevant information. The broader implication of the analysis is that epistemic justice is a precondition of reproductive autonomy. We conclude by calling for federal oversight of the acquisition and dissemination of information that prospective parents receive following a positive diagnosis of DS to ensure that it is comprehensive and up to date.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/hyp.2020.50
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 59,775
External links

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

Trusting Experts and Epistemic Humility in Disability.Anita Ho - 2011 - International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 4 (2):102-123.
The Individualist Model of Autonomy and the Challenge of Disability.Anita Ho - 2008 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 5 (2-3):193-207.
Clinical (Mis) Judgments of Quality of Life After Disability.Sunil Kothari - 2004 - Journal of Clinical Ethics 15 (4):300-307.

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Qualifying Choice: Ethical Reflection on the Scope of Prenatal Screening.Greg Stapleton - 2017 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 20 (2):195-205.
A New Era in Prenatal Testing: Are We Prepared? [REVIEW]Dagmar Schmitz - 2013 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 16 (3):357-364.


Added to PP index

Total views
10 ( #856,024 of 2,432,671 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
10 ( #65,865 of 2,432,671 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes