Jansen, Robert P.S.
Journal of Medical Ethics. 1990 Jun; 16(2): 61-65.
A fetus may survive an intentional interference with its intrauterine environment (1) if gestational age is mistaken and the procedure of induced abortion does not kill the fetus, (2) if a change of heart takes place after abortifacient drugs are taken and the abortion does not proceed, and (3) if a high-multiple pregnancy is reduced to a singleton or a twin pregnancy to improve the likelihood that the remaining fetuses will reach viability. In each case, through cause or coincidence, an abnormal baby may be born. The well-intentioned physician, responding to a patient's medical or psychological needs, risks a legal action in negligence or assault brought by a deformed surviving child. This hazard means that medical termination of pregnancy and selective pregnancy reduction put the practising physician at substantial risk in a way not usually associated with induced abortion.
Abortion; Congenital Disorders; Criminal Law; Disease; Drugs; Environment; Fetuses; Gestational Age; Iatrogenic Disease; Injuries; International Aspects; Induced Abortion; Killing; Law; Legal Aspects; Liability; Methods; Moral Policy; Multiple Pregnancy; Negligence; Newborns; Physicians; Policy Analysis; Prematurity; Prenatal Injuries; Public Policy; Pregnancy; Risk; Selective Abortion; Torts; Viability;