Non‐invasive prenatal testing: clinical utility and ethical concerns about recent advances

Helen G Liley, Michael J Peek and James Daly
Med J Aust 2021; 215 (8): . || doi: 10.5694/mja2.51283
Published online: 18 October 2021

To the Editor: Thomas and colleagues1 describe the ethical complexities that can arise in the use of non‐invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) based on the detection of cell‐free fetal DNA in the maternal circulation to screen for chromosomal and other genetic fetal conditions, especially if the clinical utility and implications of the testing are not well understood and explained. They indicate that “the current NIPT tests available are for specific chromosomal aneuploidy, extended panels of targeted conditions and low resolution whole genome sequencing”.

  • 1 University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD
  • 2 Mater Hospital Brisbane, Brisbane, QLD
  • 3 Australian National University, Canberra, ACT
  • 4 Australian Red Cross Lifeblood, Brisbane, QLD


Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.

  • 1. Thomas J, Harraway J, Kirchhoffer D. Non‐invasive prenatal testing: clinical utility and ethical concerns about recent advances. Med J Aust 2021; 214: 168–170.
  • 2. Alshehri AA, Jackson DE. Non‐invasive prenatal fetal blood group genotype and its application in the management of hemolytic disease of fetus and newborn: systematic review and meta‐analysis. Transfus Med Rev 2021; 35: 85–94.
  • 3. van Hoeven LR, Berkowska MA, Verhagen OJ et al. Prediction of the anti‐RhD donor population size for managerial decision‐making. Vox Sang 2016; 111: 171–177.


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