Ethical Issues in Sonogram Testing

The science of sonography has gained wide use in the medical field and can only be seen to be expanding and advanced into further and better modes like the 3D and 4D. A songrapher operates electronic equipment that collects reflected Doppler signals and ultrasound echoes which it then uses to form images of the parts inside the body. It is mainly used to view images within the abdomen, the fetuses and blood vessels with spectral tracings (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 2011).

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Sonography has elicited a number reactions from the society and even the medical fraternity itself. Of particular interest is the use of sonography to verify the status of the baby in the womb. This is due to the increasing use of sonography for purposes it was not intended for. An instance that has raised a lot of controversy and ethical issues is the use of sonography to avoid wrongful birth (Alexander J.M., 2011). Many have used sonography to know the nature of the baby physically and even to some extent the sex of the baby. In such events, many have resorted to terminating the pregnancy before 3 months incase the fetus is detected to be having any physical abnormalities or if the fetus if of the sex that the mother, father or both don’t prefer or did not expect. On this standpoint, there is a deliberate denial of right to life for the baby due to conditions that are beyond the baby and the parents as none choose to have a deformed fetus. It raises the moral questions about the place of such inhumane acts in the American society and if this will not be used widely by many to terminate pregnancies for simple reason that it is of the wrong sex hence chooses not to carry it to maturity.

The termination after sonography due to physical deformations is also a moral challenge that faces the society since many will ask if those who were born and are living to date with the deformities though not hindering their progress are a mistake that passed through the sonography. It communicates a negative message to the tolerance of the society and in a way indicates that those who are living with such complications should not have lived through the sonography in the first place.

On the other side of the picture is the ethical standing of the doctors. Since the provision of information to the patients and keeping it confidential is a crucial ethical issue among the medical practitioners, it would be unethical for the doctor not to provide the right medical information to the patient regardless of the action that the patient may choose to take with that piece of information. The use of sonography is one of the medical attentions that almost every pregnant woman passes through. The results are bound to be released to the individual patient and then kept confidential hence it would be unethical for the doctors and medical practitioners to refuse to relay the information to the client. Indeed, the client can sue for medical negligence and the fact that the doctor withheld information from him. Again the sonography has potential of helping detect complications like Down syndrome in the developing fetus hence medically fit for every woman so that they can start treatment for the fetus and avoid chances of being born with this complication among others that can be medically correted before birth.

Bearing the fact that the ethical implications or the moral standing of the sue of sonography in the contemporary medical circles is still controversial, it is incumbent on the health officials to go a step further in ensuring that every individual understands the positive services of sonography and encourage people to use it for the beneficial aspects only.


Alexander J.M., (2011). Legal Aspects of Obstetric Sonography. Retrieved October 24, 2011 from