SDMS Position Statement
Non-Diagnostic Use of Ultrasound for Entertainment Purposes in the Obstetrical Setting
Diagnostic medical sonography is a medical procedure that is requested by a physician (or their designated healthcare provider), performed by a sonographer, and interpreted by a physician. It is a diagnostic procedure often used to examine a developing fetus for abnormalities. A number of private businesses have opened for the sole purpose of providing expectant parents with images of the developing fetus on videocassette or other method of record. Because the service is provided for entertainment purposes only, it is considered non-diagnostic. The use of two-dimensional (2D), three-dimensional (3D) or four-dimensional (4D) ultrasound to only view the fetus, obtain a picture of the fetus or determine the fetal gender without a medical indication is inappropriate and, in the view of the Society of Diagnostic Medical Sonography (SDMS), contrary to responsible medical practice. Although there are no confirmed biological effects on patients caused by exposures from present diagnostic ultrasound instruments, the possibility exists that such biological effects may be identified in the future.
SDMS recognizes the responsibility it has to its members, the health care community and patients. Diagnostic medical sonographers are committed to act in the best interest of their patients, to maintain ethical standards to preserve and promote professionalism and to the use of ultrasound as a diagnostic procedure. Therefore, the SDMS opposes the use of ultrasound solely for entertainment purposes.
Approved by the SDMS Board of Directors, 5/28/08
FDA Cautions Against Ultrasound 'Keepsake' Images, FDA Consumer Magazine, Jan/Feb 2004
FDA Letter on Non-Diagnostic Use of Ultrasound
FDA Statement on Fetal Keepsake Videos