Empowering Women and their Health Care Providers: Prenatal Testing Examined

L.L. DeVeber, MD FRCP; Elizabeth
Ring Cassidy, MA.; Barbara Farlow, BEng Sci;


Under the practice guidelines set by the SOGC (Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada) in February 2007, all physicians treating pregnant patients are now mandated to offer prenatal genetic screening. A new non-invasive prenatal genetic diagnostic test, called ‘chromosomal microarray analysis,’ will soon drastically increase the volume of information that is available about a fetus.
However, challenges already exist with current prenatal testing in Canada. Before new testing is made available, an ethical framework needs to be developed so that parents are provided with accurate information about the conditions that may be detected through prenatal diagnosis. Additionally, an increased awareness of and access to options for improving the lives of the disabled and their families in society, will help to ensure that new prenatal genetic diagnosis technologies are used for the betterment of women, children and society.