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April 11, 1990

Prenatal Choice

Author Affiliations

Schneider Children's Hospital New Hyde Park, NY

Schneider Children's Hospital New Hyde Park, NY

JAMA. 1990;263(14):1916-1917. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03440140036023

To the Editor.—  "Dr Brown"1 experienced an emotionally and psychologically devastating event that few individuals can begin to appreciate. Despite the fact that we undergo prenatal testing to identify fetal abnormalities, most of us expect and receive normal results. As a genetic counselor, I know that the moment the news is given is never forgotten. Others have described to me the lack of supportive staff or access to hard information, the burden of the decision to terminate, the chasm between husband and wife, the discovery that old coping strategies are ineffectual, and the feeling of isolation. I also have heard many times what Dr Brown did not state, that the diagnosis itself cannot be shared lest one be judged harshly for terminating pregnancy for too little reason, as if anyone outside the situation has the right to judge.In response to these enormous and unique problems, we have developed