'It's just one of the best tests that we've got at the moment': The presentation of nuchal translucency screening for fetal abnormality in pregnancy

  • Pilnick A
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Abstract

Much of the sociological research that has been carried out into antenatal screening has been highly critical of the practical implementation of these programmes, particularly regarding issues of choice. However, most of this research is based on interviews conducted with participants after screening has taken place. This article presents a preliminary exploration of the interactional presentation of a novel antenatal screening procedure, known as nuchal translucency (NT) screening, for Down's syndrome. The data are analysed from a conversation analytic perspective, with a focus on the ways in which screening is introduced, explained and discussed by those involved. The issue of choice, and of the need to actively make a decision, are explicitly topicalized by midwives in these consultations. However, it is argued that the choice that is presented in this setting often appears to be between old' and new' screening practice, rather than a straightforward choice between screening and not screening.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Antenatal screening
  • Choice
  • Conversation analysis
  • Routinization

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