Germany questions appropriateness of reimbursing non-invasive prenatal testing

Publié le 17 Apr, 2018

In Germany, 75% of pregnant women are over the age of 35. Consequently, Germany also “has the highest rate of high-risk pregnancies (70%)”. High-risk women are granted free access to various prenatal tests “available on the market”. Women in the “non-risk” category can also have access to these tests but have to pay accordingly.


Given Germany’s eugenic history, which is linked to the Nazi period, the law which was reviewed in 1955, gives women the right” to not know” and has introduced the “right to receive psychosocial support, free of charge, after prenatal testing. If a woman chooses to have an abortion, she is obliged to meet with a psychosocial professional at least 3 days before undergoing the procedure”.


However, “the number of abortions following prenatal detection of incurable diseases remains extremely high”. In 90% of cases, foetuses found to have Down syndrome “are aborted”.


Furthermore, “Germany is also questioning appropriateness of reimbursing NIPT”. Although some defend it in the name of “social justice”, others question the risks of trivialising a test that mostly leads to an abortion in the case of positive results.

Institut Européen de Bioéthique (28/03/2018)

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