Monash Bioethics Review 25 (3):41-53 (2006)

Prenatal Diagnosis includes diagnostic procedures carried out during the antenatal period, together with Preconception Screening of prospective parents, and prenatal genetic diagnosis. The purpose of all these procedures is to provide prospective parents with opportunities to decide whether or not to have a child who will be diseased or disabled. Selection decisions determine what kinds of children are brought into existence; the ability to make these decisions is of huge ethical significance. It raises connected questions about discrimination, the social status of disabled people and the medicalisation of disability; patient vulnerability and the power of the medical and counselling professions to influence decision-making; and the conceptualisation of selection as a public health measure and even as eugenic. In this paper, I outline the ethical issues raised by prenatal diagnosis and describe some of the arguments which have been elaborated in relation to the permissibility of selecting against diseases and disabilities. I conclude that there are no good arguments against the prevention of disability through PD but that providing adequate information for decision-making and facilitating uncoerced individual decisions requires further attention.
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DOI 10.1007/bf03351456
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Response.Madelyn M. Peterson - 2008 - Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 5 (2-3):223-224.

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