How this process works can, for instance, be seen by looking at the role
of the government. Fear of governmental pressure, as well as societal pressure appeared in discussions on prenatal genetic screening. The very fact that the government would organise and offer screening was perceived as exerting pressure. This line of thinking was further elaborated in the report ‘Genes and limits’ published by the Scientific Institute of the Christian-democratic party, see more CDA, in 1992. This political party was influential because during the 1980s and first half of the 1990s it had formed coalition governments chaired by prime ministers from the CDA. The report expressed the Christian-democratic viewpoint on modern genetic technologies and stated: ‘Population screening is aimed at potential learn more prevention or treatment of disease … in any case it may be perceived by citizens … that the government
AZD6094 purchase by allowing population screening, would find it important … to detect affected foetuses without prevention or treatment being available…’ (Scientific Institute of the CDA 1992). Also, preconceptional carrier screening was not found to be acceptable as it would burden the future parents with uncertain knowledge, and would eventually lead to a decision on whether or not to become pregnant and continue that pregnancy or terminate it. For the time being, reproductive issues were deemed to be safely in the hands of obstetricians
and clinical geneticists in the case of elevated risk, such as advanced maternal age. Prenatal diagnostic testing was offered to women of and over 36 years of age. For this group in the 1990s, serum screening gradually became an option. Though serum screening might be used as an additional or better risk assessment instrument than maternal age, ethical concerns were considered too significant. For pregnant women in general, serum screening was unavailable during the 1990s, thereby precluding parental autonomy to choose screening (Weinans et al. 2000). New regulation In 1996, the Population Screening Act (WBO: Wet op het Bevolkingsonderzoek), debated for many years, finally Methocarbamol came into force. The purpose of the Act was to protect people against potentially harmful screening. A special license was required to organise some forms of screening, such as population screening for disorders with no available treatment or prevention. For the latter, a licence would only be given in ‘exceptional circumstances.’ The Act underscored that treatability was a cornerstone of Dutch screening policy. The Health Council of the Netherlands reflected on the new legal framework and the fact that prenatal screening would be subject to licensing in the absence of treatment or prevention.