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Prenatal counselling and images of disability

Alderson, Priscilla; (2002) Prenatal counselling and images of disability. In: Dickenson, D, (ed.) Ethical Issues in Maternal Fetal Medicine. (pp. 195-212). Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, United Kingdom. Green open access

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Abstract

Prenatal counselling and associated tests have become routine parts of prenatal care in many countries (Reid, 1990). The main intentions are to offer women the choice about whether to continue with a pregnancy when a fetus is impaired, and to contribute to reducing the incidence of disability with its attendant distresses and costs (HTA, 1998). This chapter reviews contrasting views about prenatal counselling, its advantages and disadvantages. Medical and counselling images of disability are compared with the views of adults who have conditions which are tested for prenatally. The evidence poses questions for bioethical reflection about the nature of disability (is it mainly physical impairment or social restrictions?) and about the possible impact of prenatal screening and counselling on maternal-fetal relationships. These questions include not only personal, mother-child relationships, but also the way that parenting generally, like pregnancy, may be becoming tentative and provisional, instead of unconditional acceptance of the child as a ’gift of God’: common in traditional rhetoric, at least, if not in practice.

Type: Book chapter
Title: Prenatal counselling and images of disability
ISBN-13: 9780521662666
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/CBO9780511545122.013
Language: English
Additional information: This material has been published in Ethical Issues in Maternal-Fetal Medicine / Edited by Donna L. Dickenson. This version is free to view and download for personal use only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. © Cambridge University Press.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1536249

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