Reproductive deliberation: supporting autonomous decision making in prenatal genetic counseling

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As both the scope and popularity of non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) have expanded, debate has emerged about the extent to which this test enhances or undermines reproductive autonomy. Genetic counseling is crucial to support autonomy in the context of making complex and value-laden decisions about reproductive care following high-chance results from NIPT. Two models of post-test prenatal genetic counseling have been proposed; the first of these, non-directive counseling, is the predominant model, while shared decision making is an alternative model deriving from patient care for chronic conditions. In this paper, we argue that neither of these approaches is adequate for counseling after NIPT to support reproductive autonomy. Instead, then, we propose an alternative approach that we call reproductive deliberation. This approach to prenatal genetic counseling simultaneously recognizes the relationality of the counseling encounter and supports the decision making capacity and decisional responsibility of the pregnant person.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Genetic Counseling
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023


  • decision making
  • ethics
  • genetic counseling
  • NIPT
  • prenatal testing
  • reproductive autonomy

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