Ethical dimensions of ultrasound screening for fetal anomalies
The ethical dimensions of the debate on routine ultrasound are analyzed. The central role of the informed consent process, based on a respect for the autonomy of the pregnant woman, is presented. Failure to offer quality ultrasound in clinical settings where it is available restricts access to pregnant women to the diagnosis of fetal anomalies and therefore restricts access to the options of abortion and fetal therapy. We show that beneficence- and justice-based considerations do not supersede respect for autonomy.