Down’s Syndrome Test Could See Condition Disappear, C of E Warns

Down’s Syndrome Test Could See Condition Disappear, C of E Warns

The National Health Service in the United Kingdom has developed a new test for Down’s Syndrome. The new screening can be conducted prior to delivering the child, and for this reason the Church of England has concerns it will cause abortion of Down’s Syndrome children to increase significantly. Without the new NIPT test, or Non-invasive Prenatal Testing, the presence of Down’s or two other related syndromes, Edwards’ and Patu’s, would not be known until the child was born.

While the Church of England is not taking an opposition position to the NIPT screening, it does warn that other countries that have instituted widespread neonatal screening for the genetic condition have seen nearly universal aborting of Down’s children. They point out that this could lead to the near total elimination of anyone being born with Down’s. Church spokespersons are hoping doctors will not offer the test, and present any positive results, as a cause for concern or bad news.

The NIPT screening is a simple blood test and carries no chance of miscarriage, and is ninety-nine percent accurate in flagging the genetic syndromes. Most people who are positive for Down’s have a reduced life expectancy of about sixty years, and tend to lead lives that are more socially isolated than non-Down’s people.

Key Points:

  • 1There has been a new test for Down’s Syndrome has been developed.
  • 2The test raises the prospects of terminations rising in UK.
  • 3This raises the possibility of Down’s Syndrome disappearing from population.


About 750 babies are born with Down’s syndrome in England and Wales each year, and a total of about 40,000 people have Down’s syndrome in the UK, or 0.06% of the population.
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