Canadian radiologists and obstetricians have issued an updated policy statement on use of ultrasound imaging for foetuses
Photo Credit: CBC

Ultrasound for baby sex determination: unethical according to Canadian medical groups


Canadian medical professionals are calling for an end of the commercial use of ultrasound for determining the sex of a foetus.

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada and the Canadian Association of Radiologists have issued a joint statement calling for an end to non-medical clinics offering the ultrasound service.

The updated policy statement comes in conjunction with the proliferation of commercial clinics offering the service for the first trimester of pregnancy when elective abortions are still possible.  This raises concerns that parents are using the tests to determine the sex of the foetus early and have it aborted if it is a girl.

During the Conservative Party’s convention in November last year, the ruling government condemned gender-selection abortions.

Doctors have also been strongly advised not to reveal the sex of a foetus before 30 weeks of pregnancy, when an “unquestioned” abortion is not permitted. However commercial clinics are not so restrained.

An article in February 2012 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (CMAJ) quotes Kerry Bowman, a bio-ethicist at the University of Toronto’s Joint Centre for Bioethics in Ontario  who said ,“It really works against everything we believe in Canada in terms of equality. It works against our Charter [of Rights and Freedoms],”   He also said “At very least, it would be fair to ask why a couple wants to know the gender of their child … because that in itself is not directly linked to the health or well-being of the child, except in rare cases of sex-linked diseases or disorders”.


The article also says that easy access to abortion and advances in prenatal sex determination have combined to make Canada a haven for parents who would terminate female foetuses in favour of having sons, despite overwhelming censure of the practice,

A March editorial in the CMAJ says, “Research in Canada has found the strongest evidence of sex selection at higher parities if previous children were girls among Asians — that is people from India, China, Korea, Vietnam and Philippines.


The combined statement also expresses concern that some of the ultrasounds being used by commercial operations to create keepsake videos may last as long as an hour.  The medical professionals express concern that long exposure to high energy levels may cause abnormalities noting that recent animal studies have reported subtle effects on brain development.

The updated joint-policy statement by radiologists and obstetricians says, “The fetus should not be exposed to ultrasound for commercial and entertainment purposes, and it could be considered unethical to perform these scans,”

Categories: Health, Society

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

@*@ Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

 characters available

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1.’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3.’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.


8 comments on “Ultrasound for baby sex determination: unethical according to Canadian medical groups
  1. I know very well that it is extremely difficult to come up with worthwhile article subjects all the time. So I just want to say: well done! Regards,

  2. Very good article! thank you to the author for it! In it interesting and useful information it is possible often times re-read it! I will advise to read it all friends. It will be very useful at writing of the article. Very much thankful you.

  3. Avatar xuscanada says:

    Very good article! thank you to the author for it! In it interesting and useful information it is possible often times re-read it! I will advise to read it all friends. It will be very useful at writing of the article. Very much thankful you.

  4. Avatar xuscanada says:

    I have appreciate with getting lot of good and reliable, legislative information with your post Thanks for sharing such kind of nice and wonderful collection.

  5. Avatar xuscanada says:

    I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

  6. Continue the wonderful good article, I just read a couple of articles about this web page and I believe that the blog is rattling intriguing and consists of sets of helpful information.

  7. I truly enjoy looking through on this website , it holds fantastic blog posts.

  8. Avatar xuscanada says:

    Ultrasound for baby sex determination Assume headline
    Thanks for sharing