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Prenatal testing and termination of future pregnancies in Arab mothers of children with severe defects: impact of Moslem cleric or physician on the decision making

Author(s): Lutfi Jaber | Gabrielle J. Halpern | Samer Samara

Journal: Open Journal of Genetics
ISSN 2162-4453

Volume: 01;
Issue: 03;
Start page: 54;
Date: 2011;
Original page

Keywords: Israeli Arab | Congenital Defects | Prenatal Testing | Termination of Pregnancy | Attitudes | Moslem Cleric

The authors investigated: 1) How many of 250 Israeli Arab mothers (50% in consanguineous marriages) of babies with severe congenital anomalies had undergone prenatal testing during pregnancy, and how many had refused termination of pregnancy (TOP) when recommended; 2) Why TOP had been refused; 3) Attitudes regarding prenatal testing and TOP in future pregnancies; and 4) Whether the women would have changed their decision had they been able to talk to a Moslem cleric or Moslem doctor in addition to the regular personnel. Eighty seven (35%) refused to even consider TOP, 55 (22%) agreed to undergo TOP, and 87 (35%) agreed provided the procedure would be performed before 120 days gestation. The remainder were undecided. Of 195 women, the addition of a Moslem religious cleric or physician to the Committee would influence 89 (46%) and 55 (28%), respectively, to change their opinion and agree to TOP, and 26 (13%) and 10 (5%), respectively, to change their opinion and agree to TOP prior to 120 days of gestation. The remainder either continued to refuse TOP or were undecided.
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