Authors: Mehran Karimi, Sheyda Johari, and Nader Cohan 1Hematology Research Center, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran 2Fasa School of Medical Sciences, Fasa, Iran The aim of this study was to evaluate the degree of acceptability of prenatal diagnosis and voluntary termination of pregnancy in case of a fetus
The aim of this study was to evaluate the degree of acceptability of prenatal diagnosis and voluntary termination of pregnancy in case of a fetus affected with b-thalassemia major (b-TM) in patients and their parents in Southern Iran. We interviewed 510 parents who had b-TM children and 254 patients. A questionnaire was used to record information regarding sex, age, parents’ and patients’ knowledge about prenatal diagnosis, and their decision regarding abortion of an affected fetus. Of 764 participants, 565 (73.9%) knew a little about prenatal diagnosis and 198 (25.9%) had no knowledge at all, while 711 (93%) were in favor of prenatal diagnosis and 53 (6.9%)
were not. Specifically, 663 subjects (86.7%) were in favor of early termination of pregnancy in case of an affected fetus, while (13.2%) were not. Compliance with prenatal diagnosis was high, and the main reason for declining was its cost. No particular correlations were found between the size of the household, the education or the economic level, and the request for early termination of pregnancy of an affected fetus. The decision not to have a medical abortion correlated with religious beliefs only.
Keywords Prenatal diagnosis, b-Thalassemia (b-thal), Southern Iran