Non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT): identifying key clinical, ethical, social, legal and policy issues

Background Paper

Published 01/11/2015

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The author was commissioned by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics to write this paper in order to inform the Council’s discussions about possible future work on this topic. The paper is intended to provide an overview of key clinical, ethical, social, legal and policy issues, but is not intended to offer any conclusions or recommendations regarding future policy and practice. Any views expressed in the paper are the author’s own and not those of the Nuffield Council on Bioethics.


Professor Vardit Ravitsky, University of Montreal, Canada


This paper presents the current clinical status of non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) and its implementation. It presents key points from guidelines currently provided by professional societies. It then discusses key ethical, social and legal implications of NIPT and raises questions that the Nuffield Council may wish to consider to promote an ethically sound and socially responsible future implementation.