Published: 29th October 2015
CMF has responded to the UK National Screening Committee Consultation. Information about the consultation can be found here.
The UK National Screening Committee is currently consulting on a new screening technology, cfDNA testing, otherwise known as non-invasive prenatal testing, which aims to support and improve the existing screening pathway. The new test analyses fragments of fetal DNA circulating in the mother's blood and can detect if the mother is carrying a child with Down Syndrome (or other trisomies - Edward's or Patau Syndromes). By offering cfDNA testing to women who are identified through initial screening as having a risk of 1 in 150 or more, women have the opportunity of a non-invasive and more accurate test. The number of unnecessary invasive tests (amniocentesis and chorionic villous sampling) would be greatly reduced with a consequent fall in the number of inadvertent miscarriages that accompany those invasive procedures. But the overall rate of Down's detection would increase such that the number of abortions under Ground E of the Abortion Act (serious handicap) would rise significantly.
This submission outlines our grave reservations about this move which are further explained in this blog.
Dr Peter Saunders (CMF Chief Executive) 020 7234 9660
Philippa Taylor (CMF Head of Public Policy) 020 7234 9664
John Martin (CMF Head of Communications) 020 7234 9665
Alistair Thompson on 020 3008 6063 or 07970 162 225
Christian Medical Fellowship (CMF) was founded in 1949 and is an interdenominational organisation with over 4,000 British doctor members in all branches of medicine. A registered charity, it is linked to about 65 similar bodies in other countries throughout the world.
CMF exists to unite Christian doctors to pursue the highest ethical standards in Christian and professional life and to increase faith in Christ and acceptance of his ethical teaching.