Journal of Community Genetics

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 87–97

Prenatal diagnosis and termination of pregnancy: perspectives of South African parents of children with Down syndrome

  • Chantelle Jennifer Scott
  • Merle Futter
  • Ambroise Wonkam
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s12687-012-0122-0

Cite this article as:
Scott, C.J., Futter, M. & Wonkam, A. J Community Genet (2013) 4: 87. doi:10.1007/s12687-012-0122-0

Abstract

This study aims to evaluate the attitudes of a group of South African parents with a preschool child with Down syndrome (DS) towards prenatal diagnosis (PND) and termination of a Down syndrome-affected pregnancy (TAP). This study employs a qualitative phenomenological approach with the use of semi-structured interviews. Twelve participants were recruited from two state sector hospitals in Cape Town, South Africa. Thematic analysis was used to interpret the data. The participants had a positive attitude towards PND and felt that it was every parent's right to have the option. They considered a benefit of PND the fact that it allowed parents time to prepare for the arrival of a baby with DS. The induced miscarriage risk associated with invasive prenatal testing procedures caused major negative feelings. They were totally opposed to the termination of a Down syndrome-affected pregnancy due to their personal experience, moral, ethical or religious convictions. South African parents of preschool children with Down syndrome are comfortable with PND for Down syndrome; however, they do not support TAP. These findings will provide health care providers with further insight into the motivations behind the decisions their patients make.

Keywords

Down syndrome Prenatal genetic diagnosis Termination of pregnancy Parent attitudes Qualitative research Africa 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chantelle Jennifer Scott
    • 1
  • Merle Futter
    • 1
  • Ambroise Wonkam
    • 1
  1. 1.Division of Human Genetics, Department of Clinical Laboratory Sciences, Faculty of Health SciencesUniversity of Cape TownCape TownSouth Africa

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