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Down syndrome, ethical decision making, ethics, first trimester pregnancy screening, maternal serum analytes, nuchal translucency, Trisomy 21



  1. Zindler, Lisa MS, RN, CNM


Many couples enter pregnancy without an intricate understanding of the potential maternal and fetal/newborn complications. While it is reasonable for expectant couples to consider only the positive outcomes, it is the role of the healthcare professional to educate the parents on the options for fetal screening and testing. Once couples have this information, it is their opportunity to consider the options according to their beliefs and values. In reviewing the principles of ethics, healthcare professionals will gain a better understanding of their role in the couple's decision making. Recommendations are made for maintaining and improving optimal patient care in first trimester pregnancy screening.