The attitude of women toward current and future possibilities of diagnostic testing in maternal blood using fetal DNA

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ObjectiveTo determine the opinions of women about the new developments in the field of noninvasive prenatal diagnosis (NIPD).MethodProspective study using questionnaires in two groups of women: women visiting the University Medical Centre Groningen and the Martini Hospital Groningen for the routine fetal anomaly ultrasound scan at 20 weeks' gestation and female medical master students.ResultsBoth groups consider NIPD an important asset in the reliable diagnosis of fetal aneuploidy and gender-determined genetic disorders, with the exception of disorders manifesting themselves later in life. There is a negative response as to its application for family balancing. Eighty-two percent of the pregnant women and 79% of the medical students responded positively to the question whether they consider NIPD an important asset in prenatal care. The statement that it is an asset because it enables pregnant women to bear an ‘optimal child’ is strongly rejected by both groups.ConclusionsNIPD paves the way for screening on a large scale. Our survey shows that women feel positive about these new possibilities, but find it hard to fully realize the consequences and new choices they will be confronted with.

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