News Video | Policy | GPs | Hospitals | Medical | Mental Health | Welfare | Search

 


Fetal Sex Tests Unethical - NZMA

The New Zealand Medical Association is advising doctors that it is unethical to terminate a pregnancy on the grounds of fetal sex alone, except in cases of a sex-related disease.

The NZMA Board has adopted the following policy in relation to determining the sex of a fetus in pregnancy:

1. "There is no ethical objection to determining the sex of a fetus if it is done for a medical reason. The reason would usually be that there is the possibility of a serious sex-linked inherited condition.
2. It is unethical to terminate a pregnancy on the grounds of fetal sex alone, except in cases of a sex-related disease."

This issue arose after the Family Planning Association alerted the NZMA that it had become aware that some parents, of particular ethnic groups, had approached doctors to organise procedures early in pregnancy so that the sex of a fetus could be determined. The intention was to abort a fetus if it was of a given sex (usually a girl), NZMA Chairman Dr John Adams explained.

The NZMA Ethics Committee considered the issue carefully and advised the Board that it is unethical to terminate a pregnancy purely on the basis of the sex of a fetus, where the fetus is otherwise healthy and normal.

"This practice is not believed to be common in New Zealand, but there is some anecdotal advice that it has been sought," said NZMA Chairman Dr John Adams. "Determining the sex of a fetus is common in several overseas countries, particularly India, China and Russia, where girl babies are less valued than boys."

Some older pregnant women or those with a family history of hereditary problems can undergo a medical procedure which is used to check fetuses for chromosomal abnormalities. It can also identify the sex of the fetus. They may consider a termination if the test results show the fetus has an inherited genetic condition.

"It is unethical for a doctor to be involved if the testing is carried out with a view to terminating the pregnancy if the fetus is of an undesired sex," Dr Adams said.

In India there has been a steady decline in the ratio of females to males over the last century because of similar practices. The 1991 census found 927 females for every 1000 males. In some Indian states there are as few as 600 females for every 1000 males. The Indian Medical Association has declared that no medical practitioners should involve themselves in sex determination tests, which have been illegal since 1994 but are still widespread

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Electronica: Restoring The World’s First Recorded Computer Music

University of Canterbury Distinguished Professor Jack Copeland and UC alumni and composer Jason Long have restored the earliest known recording of computer-generated music, created more than 65 years ago using programming techniques devised by Alan Turing. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Review Of Books: Almost Getting Away With Murder

The Black Widow by Lee-Anne Cartier: Lee-Anne Cartier is the sister of the Christchurch man found to have been murdered by his wife, Helen Milner, after an initial assumption by police that his death, in 2009, was suicide. More>>

Howard Davis: Triple Echo - The Malevich/Reinhardt/Hotere Nexus

Howard Davis: The current juxtaposition of works by Ralph Hotere and Ad Reinhardt at Te Papa perfectly exemplifies Jean Michel Massing's preoccupation with the transmigration of imagery in a remarkable triple echo effect... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: Nō Tāu Manawa

Vaughan Rapatahana responds to Fale Aitu | Spirit House by Tusiata Avi: "fa’afetai Tusiata, fa’afetai, / you’ve swerved & served us a masterclass corpus / through graft / of tears & fears..." More>>

9 Golds - 21 Medals: NZ Team Celebrates As Rio 2016 Paralympic Games Close

The entire New Zealand Paralympic Team, led by kiwi sprinter and double gold medallist Liam Malone as flag bearer, are on the bus to the Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro for the Closing Ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. There, they will celebrate the fantastic successes of the past 10 days. More>>

ALSO:

New Zealand Improv Festival: The Festival Of Moments To Return To The Capital

The eighth incarnation of the New Zealand Improv Festival comes to BATS Theatre this 4-8 October , with a stellar line-up of spontaneous theatre and instant comedy performed and directed by top improvisors from around New Zealand and the world. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Health
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news