Iowa Supreme Court recognizes wrongful birth claim

On June 2, 2017, the Iowa Supreme Court recognized for the first time the claim of "wrongful birth". The Court also recognized that the state legislature may enact legislation barring such claims.  Continue Reading

Prenatal testing for Down syndrome: does it respect a woman’s right to choose?

Prenatal testing for Down syndrome is ethically premised on respecting a woman's autonomy, her right to choose how to manage her pregnancy. Is that right to choose being respected if the woman does not know she had prenatal testing or does not understand the results? Continue Reading

DoD: counseling needed for Down syndrome prenatal testing

On Monday, Veterans Day, I featured the prenatal testing guidelines for the Department of Defense (DoD) and Veterans Administration (VA). Those guidelines make clear the need for patient counseling when offering prenatal testing for Down syndrome and other genetic conditions. Continue Reading

The Best Ethical Practices for Down Syndrome Prenatal Testing

The medical journal, Prenatal Diagnosis, published this year an article titled, "The Best Ethical Practices for Clinicians and Laboratories in the Provision of Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing." Here are the highlights. Continue Reading

Non-Invasive Prenatal Screening is not the Holy Grail, and it’s wrong to call it that–Part 2 of 2

In yesterday's post, I covered why it is factually wrong to call Non-Invasive Prenatal Screening (NIPS) the "Holy Grail" of prenatal testing. Here's why it is ethically wrong to call it that. Continue Reading

Non-Invasive Prenatal Screening is not the Holy Grail of Prenatal Testing, and it’s wrong to call it that

Last week, I asked if Non-Invasive Prenatal Screening (NIPS) is the "Holy Grail" of prenatal testing? Here's Part I of why it's not and Part II will cover why it's wrong to call it that. Continue Reading

“Not exactly a great scientific achievement”: prenatal testing in low risk populations

Yesterday's post generated a lot of discussion on Facebook and off-line about the role of maternal age and the incidence of Down syndrome. Today, we consider the value of prenatal screening for Down syndrome in relation to the mother's age. Continue Reading

You may decline prenatal testing, but you may be choosing to be sued if you do

Last week, Art Caplan, a well-known bioethicist, wrote a post for Harvard Law's Bill of Health blog. The post prompted one commenter to write, "Caplan, you are a laughable clown." Whatever did Caplan write? Continue Reading

Jason Collins comes out. Gay advocates want the world to know he still has a life worth living.

Last week, Jason Collins, an NBA player, came out as gay. Hopefully you find this post's headline objectionable. But why didn't the USA Today editors think so for the headline of their front-page story last week on prenatal testing for Down syndrome? Continue Reading