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Is it justified to detect minor genetic aberrations before birth and terminate pregnancies based upon such information? We present the case of a woman who wanted Prenatal Diagnosis (PND) to detect whether her female fetus was a Haemophilia mutation carrier. Such carriers are usually healthy. She wished to eradicate the Haemophilia mutation from her family to avoid future generations being affected and to protect her children from having to go through PND themselves. We explore existing practice guidelines, public attitudes and possible objections to providing PND for minor abnormalities. We argue that in a society where couples have considerable autonomy relating to decisions about the fetus at least until viability, the routine restriction of PND for minor genetic abnormalities would be an unjust infringement of individual liberty. © 2003, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

Original publication




Journal article


American Journal of Bioethics

Publication Date





W60 - W65