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Moral Problems and Ethical Guidance in Prenatal Diagnosis

Past, Present, and Future
  • John C. Fletcher

Abstract

What are the major problems of moral choice faced by parents and physicians in the practice of prenatal diagnosis and the conduct of research related to it? What resources in the form of ethical guidance are available for these problems? What aspects or consequences of these problems are now or will be the concern of whole societies? What guidance is possible on a societal or an international level? This chapter will discuss these questions from a perspective on ethics best described as a form of rule-utilitarianism. This perspective regards highly the prevailing bodies of ethical guidance for dealing with conflicts of moral choice in the particular society under consideration. However, it places a higher priority on evaluating particular forms of ethical guidance in terms of the consequences of accepting and acting upon them. The evaluation of the consequences is done by applying tests taken from basic ethical principles that enjoy the widest acceptance in the society, across cultural and religious lines.

Keywords

Genetic Counseling Down Syndrome Prenatal Diagnosis Huntington Disease Genetic Service 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Aubrey Milunsky 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • John C. Fletcher
    • 1
  1. 1.Bioethics Program, Warren G. Magnuson Clinical CenterNational Institutes of HealthBethesdaUSA

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