Islam and client decision making on prenatal screening. Practice and theory in the Netherlands

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In 2008 I finished my master’s thesis on the subject of ‘Islam and prenatal screening. Practice and theory of Turkish pregnant women in the Netherlands’. The research showed two things: first, the sources of Islam allow ending a termination only if the fetus has seriously congenital anomalies and the pregnancy is before the 19+1 weeks gestation. Secondly, the interviewed Islamic women were not aware of this information; they believed that terminating a pregnancy was not an option because of their faith. This current PhD project builds on the master’s thesis. As part of the Deliver study, data were collected on religious convictions and their use in the process of prenatal counseling and on midwives’ knowledge regarding termination from Islamic perspective; data collection is complete. Furthermore, a theological inquiry based on joint topics from interviews with Turkish and Moroccan pregnant women regarding to decision making on prenatal screening will be performed.


To gather religious information from authoritative Islamic sources that is relevant to both clients and counselors of prenatal screening programs, and to determine if this information is known by them. The project also investigates the attitude of counselors and clients with regard to the use of religious information within the framework of prenatal screening, particularly in respect of Islam.


To what extent is religious information provided by the sources from Islamic jurisprudence both available for and used in midwifery practice in the Netherlands in the context of counseling Islamic women regarding prenatal screening, and how is the use of this kind of
information justified?


Migrants with an Islamic background are an increasing population in
western countries as the Netherlands and there is still a need for
knowledge about Islamic doctrines and bioethics to understand
Muslim women’s decision making on prenatal screening.


Prof.dr. J.S. Reinders (ethicus, VU, Amsterdam)
Prof.dr. E. Hutton (Midwifery Science VUmc, Amsterdam) J. Manniën (EMGO+, midwifery science)
Dr. P.S. Verhoeven (Roosevelt Academy, Middelburg)
Dr. M.M. Ghaly (University of Leiden)


J.T. Gitsels van der Wal MA Verloskundige, onderzoeker en docent


T. Klomp MSc RM (Deliver-study)


dr. J.T. Gitsels-van der Wal


Begindatum: januari 2010
Einddatum: januari 2014
Mogelijk gemaakt dankzij (KNOV Scholarship 2012)