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A Piece of My Mind
October 3, 2007

Knowledge Is Power

JAMA. 2007;298(13):1489-1490. doi:10.1001/jama.298.13.1489

“Did you see the atrial septum?” My wife's question sent a shudder down my spine. As soon as the ultrasonographer and her student departed, leaving us alone in the dimly lit prenatal obstetrics suite, my wife's courageous voice and straightforward expression jarred the eerie calm I had managed to maintain.

We were there as beneficiaries of the newly unveiled recommendations of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, which now offer prenatal screening for chromosomal anomalies to all couples regardless of maternal age.1 The physician in both of us firmly held on to the axiom that knowledge is power: as the director of a clinic for adults with Down syndrome and the proud brother of a young woman with trisomy 21, I had encountered many young adults with this condition and had shared so many poignant stories with my wife. Early in this our first pregnancy we had agreed to undergo serum quadruple screening during the second trimester.

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