Prenatal screening and counseling in iran and ethical dilemmas
Sherafat Kazemzade, R
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Objective: Prenatal screening has become an increasingly common procedure all over the world. It offers couples useful information relating to the health of their fetus, although it faces us with serious ethical dilemmas as well. This study was conducted to find out the attitudes of Iranian scholars towards prenatal screening and counseling with respect to ethical issues. Methods: Two hundred and one physicians, genetic and religious scholars were interviewed with regard to demographics and attitudes towards the ethical dilemmas in prenatal screening and counseling. Interviews were analyzed using the four-principle approach. Results: Findings showed scholars' attitudes towards: (1) the right of couples to choose prenatal screening, (2) the role of prenatal screening and counseling concerning termination of an affected fetus, (3) screening results and emotional distress in couples, and (4) the impact of prenatal screening and counseling on disability rate. Conclusion: Iranian scholars were willing to consider prenatal screening to help prevent transmission of diseases to the next generation. This goal is attained through the autonomous choice of the couple to participate in prenatal screening and counseling. Copyright © 2008 S. Karger AG.