Ethics of Maternal Care

1027 WordsJun 22, 20185 Pages
Recent legal movements and rules are being placed within the practice of maternal mothers with focus on the protection of the fetus as a separate entity from the woman. These legalities are said to question the rights of the pregnant woman about her own medical care and decisions. The new protective actions for the fetus will enforce criminal charges on women who behave in a way that is associated with fetal harm or adverse perinatal outcomes. The ethical dilemmas with maternal decision making are being approached because it “constrains the pregnant woman’s decision making by punishing them which erode a woman’s basic rights to privacy and body integrity.” (ACOG, 2011) The technological advances of current imaging, testing, and treating of…show more content…
The cases above outline the need for testing of post-partum mothers, but a caregiver may encounter complications of obtaining consent from the new mother. In regards to prenatal testing, physicians have neither an obligation nor a right to perform prenatal testing. It is important to maintain the health of the fetus, but supersedes a woman’s autonomous choice. A person who is trying to override a maternal patient’s decision must remember that medical judgments in obstetrics are not perfect. A case in June of 1987 where the hospital retrieved a court order for a cesarean delivery stating independent rights for the fetus because a mother was critically ill with cancer and the fetus was at 25 weeks gestation. The infant and the mother died shorty aft the cesarean delivery was performed. The District of Columbia stated the courts had “erred in subordination her right to bodily integrity in factor of the state’s interested in potential life.” (ACOG, 2011) Studies performed present results that in one-third of case’s related to obstetric interventions that were court ordered, the medical judgment was incorrect. A suggested example of obstetric care is the management of risk associated with shoulder dystocia in the possible birthing of a fetal Macrosomia. The concern for practioners when making recommendations for
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