Parental Decisions Regarding a Prenatally Detected Fetal Chromosomal Abnormality and the Impact of Genetic Counseling: An Analysis of 38 Cases with Aneuploidy in Southeast Turkey
This study investigated parental decision-making to terminate or continue a pregnancy after prenatal diagnosis of a chromosomal abnormality among a sample of patients in Southeast Turkey. Between 2004 and 2007, 1068 amniocentesis tests were performed in the Medical Biology and Genetic Department Laboratory at Dicle University. Aneuploidy was found in 38 cases (3.56%). Genetic counseling was provided for the couples that received abnormal results, and they were later interviewed and asked if they had continued or interrupted the pregnancy after the diagnosis. When confronted with autosomal aneuploidy in which a severe prognosis was expected, 85% of cases decided to terminate the pregnancy. When confronted with sex chromosome aneuploidy with a low risk of an abnormal clinical phenotype 60% of cases decided to continue the pregnancy. Among the diagnoses with aneuploidy, pregnancy was continued in 21.1% of cases due to religious beliefs regardless of whether there was a low or severe risk of an abnormal clinical phenotype. These findings indicate that both severity of abnormality and religiosity play an important role in genetic counseling patients’ decision-making processes and outcomes in Turkey. In addition, the findings suggest the need for legislation that reduces the differences in approaches between the physicians and institutions regarding parental decision-making to terminate or continue a pregnancy in our country.
KeywordsPrenatal diagnosis Genetic counseling Autosomal aneuploidy Sex chromosome aneuploidy Pregnancy termination Religious Turkey
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