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The amount of information available to couples about the health of their fetus is increasing. An important question in prenatal diagnosis is what information should be given to couples, and how best to present it. It has been argued elsewhere that, in the absence of economic constraints on testing, there is no place for limiting the information available to couples about their fetus. However, not every couple wants all available information, and it is not always clear what couples do want to know. Providing unwanted information about the health of a fetus may be harmful in a number of ways. Herein, the potential harms of being given unwanted information about one's fetus are illustrated by using case studies drawn from clinical practice, and a new approach to prenatal diagnosis is suggested. If the harms of being given unwanted information about one's fetus are to be avoided, then couples need an opportunity to limit the data gathered about their fetus at prenatal diagnosis.

Original publication




Journal article


Hum Reprod

Publication Date





2253 - 2256


Genetics and Reproduction, Chromosome Aberrations, Disclosure, Down Syndrome, Ethics, Medical, Humans, Prenatal Diagnosis, Ultrasonography, Prenatal