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Non-invasive prenatal testing and decision-making

02 January 2020
Volume 28 · Issue 1


George F Winter shares his views on NIPT and how it influences decision-making

The phrase ‘tyranny of choice’ has been widely used in recent years to illustrate the increasing range of options that are available to consumers in the developed world. But Suter (2018) uses the term to highlight how reproductive decision-making can sometimes be challenging as a result of technological advances, such as non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT).

In 2016, the Department of Health and Social Care (2016) announced that on the recommendation of the UK National Screening Committee, it had approved NIPT for Down, Edwards' and Patau's syndromes; an accurate maternal blood screening test is undertaken between 10- and 14-weeks' gestation to check for fetal DNA fragments. In 2018, Public Health England reported on the success of eight training events that had been held in preparation for the implementation of an evaluative rollout of NIPT to the fetal anomaly screening pathway, and which had been attended by more than 400 people, including screening midwives, midwives, sonographers and obstetricians (Segalini, 2018).

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