Controversial trisomy Test is Fund performance: The you need to know about the investigation

The statutory health insurance funds will pay for the blood tests for pregnant women, which, among other things, examines whether a child with Down syndrome comes into the world. The Federal joint Committee (G-BA) of Doctors, insurance funds and hospitals, as the highest decision-making body for the cost – even if only under strict conditions. Possible the new Fund performance should be “only in justified individual” for women with high-risk pregnancies after medical consultation and associated with certain mandatory information. But how meaningful the Test is? And what ethical concerns are there? The most important questions and answers.

What Tests are in the Down’s syndrome possible?

Until a few years ago Doctors trisomy before birth could determine only by invasive methods, such as the investigation of the fruit water. This procedure provides very precise results, but can also lead to complications to a miscarriage. In the case of high-risk pregnancies, the funds pay the Test – for example, if the Pregnant women over 35 years of age or a child with chromosome-has abnormality.

Practically no risk there since 2012, existing blood test. This Test to cases in the future, in justified individual insurance type.

How does the trisomy blood test?

In the blood of the mother-to-be also fragments of a child’s genome, find themselves out of their own DNA, on the basis of which to determine the probability for a trisomy 21 (Down syndrome). Here, the pregnant woman is removed from the completed ninth week of pregnancy the blood from the vein. The blood tests allow the DNA-traces of the Unborn to filter out and to investigate chromosomal disorders.

People with Down syndrome have in each cell a chromosome more than others, i.e. 47 instead of 46. The chromosome 21 is present, instead of in other people two times, therefore, trisomy 21.

The test is similar to the result of a diagnosis?

No. The test result is not a final diagnosis, it predicts that only with a high probability of trisomy 21 is present. To verify this result, further Tests are needed – such as an amniocentesis or a placenta-puncture, but which are associated with the risk of a miscarriage. It is, according to the Federal centre for health education, 0.5 to 2 percent.

In very rare cases, negative findings in the blood test is also false. Rarer forms of trisomy 13 (Patau syndrome) or trisomy 18 (Edwards syndrome) can demonstrate the so-called non-invasive prenatal diagnostics. Blood tests are generally considered as less reliable than the fruit water analysis; their big advantage, however, lies in the very low health risk.

What are the ethical concerns against the trisomy Tests?

Critics point out that the prenatal diagnosis of life with Down syndrome as something to be Prevented would be presented. In fact, many mothers decide at a corresponding test result for an abortion. In Denmark, Tests halved after the introduction of the trisomy as a rule, performance is the number of children born.

In particular, the genetic blood tests, arousing fears that there could always be more to a selection process in which it comes to the question of: What expectant children can be classified as a life value and which are not? Because with the simpler and lower risk of blood tests could decrease the threshold for an investigation.

What are the arguments of the proponents?

Federal Minister of health, Jens Spahn (CDU), has called for the assumption of costs, refers in particular to the lower risk of this method. The costs are borne by the statutory health insurance, could increasingly abandon parents to the riskier amniotic fluid analysis – which will eventually be paid out of the funds.

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