Breaking News: ACOG Issues New Guidelines on NIPT

Since the 1990's, when fragments of cell free fetal DNA (cffDNA) were found in the mother's blood stream, researchers have been on a quest for what is regularly termed "The Holy Grail" of prenatal testing: a diagnostic test from just a mother's blood sample. If the fetal DNA could be identified and tested, then the fetus' genetic code could be diagnosed. Mothers (and practitioners) would be able to receive a diagnosis without risking miscarriage, as must be done with current diagnostic tests, Continue Reading

Giving Thanks: For those who get to know those with Down syndrome

Happy Thanksgiving! For those going through prenatal testing for Down syndrome, let us give thanks for those who make the effort to get to know more about Down syndrome. Continue Reading

The Informed Consent Process: Voluntariness

There are many ethical issues involved with prenatal testing for Down syndrome. I hope in time to address as many as possible. To start with, however, is the ethical concept that commentators have cited as making the offering of prenatal testing a moral obligation: informed consent. Informed consent has a rich history that developed in the United States through court decisions and was codified as an international norm in The Nuremberg Code. Out of respect for an individual's autonomy--the Continue Reading

What materials did your OB give you about Down syndrome?

When the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists (ACOG) changed its recommendations about prenatal testing for Down syndrome in 2007, it emphasized that obstetricians should be "well-informed" about Down syndrome and provide the "natural history" of Down syndrome when delivering a diagnosis. What was your experience? Was your OB well-informed and did they provide you accurate information about living a life with Down syndrome? I ask the question because studies have shown many Continue Reading

Top 5 Homecoming King & Queen Stories from NDSAM

  October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month (NDSAM). And, each year, as regularly as football games kick-off, there are stories of high school students with Down syndrome being crowned homecoming king and queen. Some of the reporting is of the patronizing sort, which rightly deserves the derision by my friend Krista Flint (and other champions of inclusion). But, it seems with increasing frequency, there are fewer stories about the young person "suffering" from Down syndrome Continue Reading

Did you get to make a choice?

In 2007, professional guidelines changed. Now, it is recommended that all expectant mothers be offered prenatal testing for Down syndrome. Previously, offering prenatal testing was limited to mothers termed "AMA" or advanced maternal age, i.e. 35 or older. When issuing its updated guidelines, ACOG issued a press release to clarify that the recommendation was simply to offer  prenatal testing for Down syndrome, not that expectant mothers should have prenatal testing. But how effective was ACOG's Continue Reading

Welcome to Down Syndrome Prenatal Testing

Welcome to Down Syndrome Prenatal Testing, a blog devoted to prenatal testing for Down syndrome. Here, the ever-advancing developments in prenatal testing for Down syndrome will be covered, along with helpful resources for practitioners and expectant patients. This blog will also feature commentary and analysis of research studies concerning prenatal testing and/or Down syndrome, as well as media reports and testimonials about living a life with Down syndrome. Those involved in prenatal Continue Reading