When a Pregnant Woman Endangers Her Fetus
Mackenzie, Thomas B.
Nagel, Theodore C.
Rothman, Barbara Katz
Hastings Center Report. 1986 Feb; 16(1): 24-25.
A case study is presented in which a pregnant diabetic is risking injury to her fetus by failing to follow her physician's instructions on controlling her disease. The physician tells her that unless she complies, he will obtain a court order to keep her in the hospital. Three commentators discuss whether the doctor's response is legally justifiable. Mackenzie and Nagel answer affirmatively, after determining that the physician has an obligation to the fetus, that there is a definite relationship between the patient's behavior and risk of harm to the fetus, and that controlling her diabetes would not endanger the woman's health. Rothman argues that using the law to control a pregnant woman's behavior is not justified because the cost to her civil liberties is too high. (KIE abstract)
Autonomy; Case Studies; Chronically Ill; Coercion; Diabetes; Disease; Fetuses; Harm; Health; Injuries; Insulin; Law; Legal Aspects; Legal Obligations; Legal Rights; Obstetrics and Gynecology; Physician Patient Relationship; Physicians; Pregnant Women; Prenatal Injuries; Rights; Risk; Risks and Benefits; Treatment Refusal; Viability;
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