Ethics for Lunch – When Birth May Mean Death: Best Decisions in the Light of Uncertainty
1800 Orleans Street
Baltimore, MD 21287
With increasing advances in prenatal sonographic technology and genetic testing, more expectant parents are now learning of potentially devastating diagnoses during pregnancy. The field of genetics is complex and ever-evolving, with some genetic findings having unclear significance and many diagnoses exhibiting a wide spectrum of outcomes. Even a small amount of uncertainty can create extraordinary pressure on parents who will need to make weighty decisions surrounding their baby’s birth and care, and also on medical providers endeavoring to offer meaningful guidance and support. In addition, genetic testing is often non-diagnostic, and, even when positive, the same condition can vary both within and among families.