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Hastings Center News

Hastings Scholars in New England Journal of Medicine: Supporting Women’s Autonomy in Prenatal Testing

Noninvasive fetal genetic sequencing done early in pregnancy is poised to become a routine part of prenatal care. While it could offer patients substantial benefits, there is a risk that it will be integrated into care “without the robust, evidence-based informed consent process necessary for respecting women’s autonomy,” states an article in the August 10 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

“If that happens, patients will be asked to decide whether to undergo invasive diagnostic testing and then to consider whether to terminate or continue their pregnancy without a full understanding of the results.”

The lead author is Josephine Johnston, The Hastings Center’s director of research; Erik Parens, senior research scholar, is a co-author.  Read the article here. Listen to Johnston discuss their recommendations in the New England Journal of Medicine’s podcast.