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This Article focuses on one aspect of prenatal diagnosis: noninvasive prenatal diagnosis, particularly the detection of Trisomy 21 (Down Syndrome) through a simple test of maternal blood. Although I discuss issues salient to this particular test, I place it in the context of "opportunistic" testing generally. It is my view that opportunistic testing presents the most serious challenge to patient autonomy we are facing in the twenty-first century. In this Article, I will explain what I mean by opportunistic testing and consider three different examples of how it threatens informed consent: (1) Prostate-Specific Antigen (PSA) screening, (2) newborn screening, and (3) prenatal diagnosis of maternal blood tests for fetal anomalies.


Dena S Davis. Opportunistic testing: the death of informed consent? Health matrix (Cleveland, Ohio : 1991). 2013;23(1):35-54

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PMID: 23808098

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