Access to Prenatal Testing and Ethically Informed Counselling in Germany, Poland and Russia

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Abstract
The development of new methods in the field of prenatal testing leads to an expansion of information that needs to be provided to expectant mothers. The aim of this research is to explore opinions and attitudes of gynecologists in Germany, Poland and Russia towards access to prenatal testing and diagnostics in these countries. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with n = 18 gynecologists in Germany, Poland and Russia. The interviews were analyzed using the methods of content analysis and thematic analysis. Visible in all three countries is a connection of prenatal medicine with the politically and socially contentious issue of pregnancy termination. Respondents in Poland and Russia concentrated on the topic of inadequate resources. Quality of information for expectant mothers is an important point in all three countries. Only in Germany was the issue of language barriers in communication raised. With regard to non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) respondents in Germany focused on the ethical issues of routinization of testing; in Poland and Russia they concentrated on fair access to NIPT. Challenges in all three countries arise from structural factors such as imprecise and prohibitive regulations, lack of resources or organization of healthcare services. These should be addressed on a political and medico-ethical level.
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Archival date: 2021-10-13
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