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Foetal Abnormalities

Volume 24: debated on Wednesday 26 May 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will take steps to ensure that pregnant women who are being investigated for possible foetal abnormalities are informed expeditiously of the results and given all possible information to allay anxiety.

The report of the expert working group of screening for neural tube defects, which the Department issued to health authorities in December 1979, stressed the importance of communicating to pregnant women, without delay, the results of tests for foetal abnormality. The report also recognised the need to give women full counselling on the purpose and results of these tests. It is, of course, a matter for clinical judgment by the doctor in each case how the results are communicated in the light of individual circumstances.