Academic journal article Issues in Law & Medicine

Preface

Academic journal article Issues in Law & Medicine

Preface

Article excerpt

In the lead article, Damn P. Dixon, J.D., examines informed consent for fetal genetic screening and diagnostic testing and addresses the contributing factors and causes that ultimately lead to a very high abortion rate for fetuses diagnosed with Down Syndrome. He addresses the following questions: Is this high abortion rate due to societal pressures to have "normal" children, a negative view of children with disabilities, a fear of legal liability by those in the medical community, the lack of information about genetic abnormalities before genetic screening or diagnostic testing is administered, or the failure of "genetic counseling" after diagnosis of a fetal genetic anomaly? Mr. Dixon concludes that genuine informed consent to prenatal screening and diagnostic testing, and after diagnosis of a genetic abnormality, full and unbiased counseling about the range of possible outcomes, may lead to a more generous spirit toward, less fear of, and perhaps even acceptance of children who are differently abled.

The second article, by Angela Lanfranchi, M.D., F.A.C.S., breast surgeon and associate professor of surgery at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, explains the barriers to informed consent by women when deciding whether to use oral contraceptives or to have induced abortions. She finds that both federal agencies and academicians are suppressing information about the heightened risk of breast cancer posed by oral contraceptives and induced abortion. …

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