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Testing times: the social life of non-invasive prenatal testing

Thomas, Gareth M., Rothman, Barbara Katz, Strange, Heather and Latimer, Joanna 2021. Testing times: the social life of non-invasive prenatal testing. Science Technology and Society 26 (1) , pp. 81-97. 10.1177/0971721820960262

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Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) is a genomic technology used to predict the chance of a foetus having a genetic condition. Despite the immediacy of this technology’s integration into clinical practice, there is a dearth of evidence outlining how both patients and professionals experience NIPT on the ground. In this article, we draw upon our collective empirical research – specifically on earlier screening technologies (BKR), Down syndrome screening (GT), genetic screening/testing (JL), and NIPT (HS) – to outline the most pressing, and often controversial, issues which, we argue, remain unresolved and vital to consider regarding NIPT. We begin with a brief introduction to NIPT as a prenatal technology and the bodies of literature which unpack its ‘social life’. In what follows, BKR discusses NIPT within the context of her research on ‘the tentative pregnancy’ and diagnostic testing in the USA. In the following sections, GT, HS, and JL identify different, but related, concerns with respect to NIPT, particularly around routinisation, commercialisation, choice, abortion, and configurations of disability and ‘normalcy’.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
R Medicine > RG Gynecology and obstetrics
Uncontrolled Keywords: Choice; disability; ethics; non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT); pregnancy; technology
Publisher: SAGE Publications (UK and US)
ISSN: 0971-7218
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 2 July 2019
Date of Acceptance: 28 June 2019
Last Modified: 06 Oct 2021 12:29

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