Ethical Issues in Maternal-Fetal Medicine / Edition 1

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This volume brings together an unusually broad range of experts from reproductive medicine, medical ethics, and law to address the important ethical problems in maternal-fetal medicine which impact directly on clinical practice. The book is divided into parts by the stages of pregnancy, within which the authors cover four main areas: the balance of power in the doctor-patient relationship and the justifiable limits of paternalism and autonomy; the impact of new technologies and new diseases; disability and enhancement; and difference--to what extent should the clinician respect the tenets of other faiths in a multicultural society.
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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
Focusing on the implications of ethics for clinical practice, 12 chapters by philosophers, social scientists, legal scholars, and doctors address the power inherent in the doctor-patient relationship, the impact of new technologies and new diseases, disability and enhancement, and diversity. Particular attention is given to the justifiable limits of paternalism and autonomy, and to the issues that arise at various stages of pregnancy and neonatal care. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
From the Publisher
"This is an important new text, not only for clinicians working in the field of human reproduction, but also for philosophers, ethicists and lawyers. Each chapter provides a thought-provoking essay on a contemporary issue relating to reproductive medicine that could well constitute the course work of a medical ethics major." Journal of Paediatric Child Health

"This book is to be commended both for the breadth of the intellectual and clinical area it surveys and for its interesting, interdisciplinary mix of...writers." Medical Humanities Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521664745
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/2011
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 366
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Donna Dickenson (b. 1946) was previously Leverhulme Reader in Medical Ethics and Law at Imperial College London; she has also held positions at the Open University (UK) and Yale University. She has written, co-written or edited seven books in medical ethics, including The Cambridge Workbook in Medical Ethics (2001, with Dr Michael Parker), and has been principal investigator on several European Commission, Wellcome Trust and Department of Health projects, primarily concerned with widening ethics education for medical practitioners. Her journal of publications, about forty in all, include articles in the British Medical Journal, Journal of Medical Ethics, Bioethics, Cambridge Quarterly of Health Care Ethics, and other leading refereed journals. She was Secretary of the fifth International Association of Bioethics conference in London and also heavily involved in organising the simultaneous Feminist Approaches to Bioethics conference. Her 1997 book, Property, Women and Politics, developed a feminist reconstruction of philosophical concepts concerning property and applied them to property in the body, particularly such issues in reproductive ethics as abortion, ownership of fetal and ovarian tissue, and contract motherhood.
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Table of Contents

List of contributors
1 Introduction: recent debates in maternal-fetal medicine - what are the ethical questions? 1
2 Overview: a framework for reproductive ethics 17
I Generic Issues in Pregnancy 37
3 Multicultural issues in maternal-fetal medicine 39
4 HIV in pregnancy: ethical issues in screening and therapeutic research 61
5 Genetic screening: should parents seek to perfect their children genetically? 87
6 Is there a duty not to reproduce? 101
7 Between fathers and fetuses: the social construction of male reproduction and the politics of fetal harm 113
8 Restricting the freedom of pregnant women 131
II Inception of Pregnancy: New Reproductive Technologies 147
9 Ethical issues in embryo interventions and cloning 149
10 A case-study in IVF: paternalism and autonomy in a 'high-risk' pregnancy 161
11 The ethics of secrecy in donor insemination 167
III First and Second Trimester 181
12 Ethical and social aspects of evaluating fetal screening 183
13 Prenatal counselling and images of disability 195
14 Models of motherhood in the abortion debate: self-sacrifice versus self-defence 213
15 Who owns embryonic and fetal tissue? 233
16 The fewer the better? Ethical issues in multiple gestation 247
IV Third Trimester 261
17 Caesarean section: who chooses - the woman or her doctor? 263
18 Judgements of non-compliance in pregnancy 285
V Neonatal Life 303
19 Do new reproductive technologies benefit or harm children? 305
20 Are there lives not worth living? When is it morally wrong to reproduce? 321
21 Ethical issues in withdrawing life-sustaining treatment from handicapped neonates 335
Index 347
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