Quebec: easy access to an ultrasound scan at 12 weeks to determine the sex of the foetus is worrying

Publié le : 4 June 2013

 In Quebec, in the framework of a report on sex-based prenatal selection, the news website La Presse visited private ultrasound scanning clinics anonymously. According to the website, members of the Order of Medical Imaging Technologists of Quebec said that they are "willing to reveal the sex of a foetus at 12 weeks without requiring any prescription." The purpose of the investigation was to "verify if it is possible to obtain an ultrasound scan with the sole aim of determining the sex of the foetus in an early stage of the pregnancy, when it is still easy to terminate it." But, according to the President of the Order, this is illegal. In the case described by the website, the patient wanting to know the sex of her foetus is a young woman of Chinese origin, 12 weeks pregnant, wishing to be "assured that it is a boy.

The internal Inspector of the Order, Yves Morel, is worried about the ethical abuses that such practices may lead to. He points out that "the purpose of this identification is to decide on whether or not to terminate the pregnancy. For us, this raises a major ethical problem.” He adds that "a foetus at 12 weeks is too small to determine its sex correctly" and the diagnosis "risks being 30% wrong." Lastly, "the Order is worried about the selective abortion of female foetuses, practised above all in China and in northern India, but also, in a more marginal and underground way, among certain immigrants in Canada.

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