Monday, May 30, 2011

ECHR says pregnant mothers entitled to prenatal genetic tests

A chamber of seven judges of the European Court of Human Rights issued a decision last week in R.R. v. Poland, finding that a pregnant mother's rights under articles 3 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights had been violated when she was denied timely access to genetic tests during her pregnancy.  Ultrasound tests done in the early stages of the pregnancy showed that the baby might be deformed.  The mother requested amniocentesis to determine the extent of the problem, but the doctors denied her access to genetic testing because they were afraid she would terminate the pregnancy if she knew the extent of the deformity.  The woman ultimately gave birth to a girl with Turner's syndrome.  The Court held that she had suffered humilitating treatment in violation of Article 3 of the Convention, as well as suffering a violatio of her right to respect for privacy and family life under Article 8.


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