AbstractsPhilosophy & Theology

Prenatal Testing and Reproductive Freedom

by Lise-Lott Karlsson

Institution: Linköping University
Year: 2014
Keywords: prenatal testing; reproductive freedom; autonomy; severe disease; Humanities; Philosophy, Ethics and Religion; Humaniora; Filosofi, etik och religion; Master in Applied Ethics; Master in Applied Ethics
Record ID: 1360333
Full text PDF: http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-110414


The aim of this thesis is to analyse and examine the debate on prenatal testing in Western countries, with a special focus on my own country, Sweden. In the near future it might be possible for a pregnant woman to profile the DNA of her foetus with a simple blood test early in pregnancy. This method of prenatal testing – Non Invasive Prenatal Diagnosis (NIPD) – could potentially detect the genetic causes of almost every disease. I will argue that prenatal testing should be offered by society to all pregnant women, not only to those at highest risk of giving birth to children with severe conditions. I will do that from a perspective of reproductive freedom. Furthermore, I will argue that offering prenatal testing for some conditions (such as Downs’s syndrome) and not for others, is conflicting with the autonomous choice of the pregnant woman.