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Type: Journal article
Title: Fatal fetal paternalism
Author: Wilkinson, D.
Citation: Journal of Medical Ethics, 2012; 38(7):396-397
Publisher: British Med Journal Publ Group
Issue Date: 2012
ISSN: 0306-6800
Statement of
Dominic Wilkinson
Abstract: Heuser and colleagues’ survey of obstetricians provides a valuable insight into the current management of severe fetal anomalies in the United States. Their survey reveals two striking features – that counselling for these anomalies is far from neutral, and that there is significant variability between clinicians in their approach to management. In this commentary I outline the reasons to be concerned about both of these. Directiveness in counselling arguably represents a form of paternalism, and the evident variability in practice is likely the result of physician personal values. However, Heuser’s survey may, by shining a light on practice, provide an important step towards a more consistent approach.
Keywords: Humans; Fetal Diseases; Prenatal Diagnosis; Abortion, Induced; Pregnancy; Physicians; Female; Congenital Abnormalities
Rights: Copyright © 2012 by the BMJ Publishing Group Ltd & Institute of Medical Ethics. All rights reserved.
RMID: 0020120573
DOI: 10.1136/medethics-2012-100542
Appears in Collections:Obstetrics and Gynaecology publications

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