Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Soc Sci Med. 1996 Feb;42(3):353-61.

Healing fictions': stories of choosing in the aftermath of the detection of fetal anomalies.

Author information

  • 1School of Nursing, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 27599, USA.


Between the cultural story of prenatal diagnosis emphasizing the expansion of choice and the countercultural story emphasizing the lack of choice are the individual stories of choosing told by expectant and new parents after learning of the existence of a fetal impairment. The results of a qualitative, descriptive study involving 40 interviews with 15 women and 12 of their partners suggest that they had often 'backed into', as opposed to having actively chosen or refused, prenatal testing. After learning of their babies' impairments, they constructed subtly different accounts of pregnancies continued or terminated that located the moral agency for effecting these pregnancy outcomes either in themselves or elsewhere. These emplotments of choice can be summarized as nature's choice, disowned choice, choice lost, close choice and choice found. The findings raise questions concerning which of these or other constructions of choice in the aftermath of positive fetal diagnosis are the most effective in promoting psychological recovery and optimum parent-infant interactions.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk