A new prenatal test could reduce the expense of caring for those with Down’s Syndrome, says the UK Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG).
In a recent submission to the National Screening Committee, the RCOG said that a “rigorous economic analysis” is needed to evaluate the benefits of rolling out Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT).
If the decision has been made primarily on cost grounds, then a more rigorous economic analysis has to be made that includes the lifetime costs of caring for children and adults with Down’s syndrome (bearing in mind that cfDNA testing as a primary screen test will identify approximately 289 more babies with trisomies). Such an economic analysis may (or may not) suggest that cfDNA testing for all is cost-effective.
The RCOG submission was part of an NSC review into the impact of introducing NIPT.
Disability advocates have condemned RCOG’s suggestion, saying that it “puts a price on the life” of individuals with Down’s Syndrome.
‘It is utterly shocking that in this day and age someone can put a cost value on someone’s life just because they have a disability,” Dr. Elizabeth Corcoran of the Down’s Syndrome Research Foundation told The Daily Mail. “It is worse still that this comes from a respected Royal College that is a professional beacon for doctors.”
The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.