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Risks of the Diagnostic Procedures

There are risks to most of the prenatal diagnostic procedures, and these risks should be fully explained to patients considering this type of testing. The risk of the test's causing a miscarriage may be greater than the risk that the fetus is affected. This does not necessarily mean that the test should not be done. A 35-year-old woman who has finally conceived after three years of fertility treatment may feel that she would rather have a child with Down syndrome than no child at all. On the other hand, this woman may feel that it is morally reprehensible knowingly to bring a retarded child into the world. These decisions must be made by the patient. A physician who is asked for an opinion on what should be done should be sure that the patient understands what is medical opinion and what is personal belief.

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