Drug Addiction and Pregnancy: Policy Crossroads
American Journal of Public Health. 1990 Apr; 80(4): 483-487.
The medical and lay press have lately written extensively about drug use by pregnant women...The medical consequences for mother and infant can be severe. In addition to the well-known roster of ills related to intravenous administration such as hepatitis B, endocarditis, abcesses, etc., illicit drugs have become increasingly associated with sexually transmitted diseases and AIDS. The sequelae for infants can include abstinence symptoms, low birthweight, developmental problems, and increased risk of infant death. Society has responded to this problem in three different ways: criminal prosecution of the mother; allegations of child neglect against the mother with interruption of maternal custody; and drug treatment. The purpose of this article is to explore each of these policy approaches in an effort to ascertain whether each furthers the goal of reducing drug use during pregnancy and improving maternal and infant health and well-being.
Addiction; Aids; Beginning of Life; Child Abuse; Confidentiality; Criminal Law; Child Neglect; Death; Drugs; Discrimination; Females; Fetuses; Government; Health; Health Care; Health Care Delivery; Hepatitis; Hospitals; Indigents; Infants; Injuries; Law; Legal Liability; Legal Obligations; Life; Liability; Mass Screening; Municipal Government; Newborns; Patient Care; Personhood; Physician's Role; Pregnant Women; Prenatal Injuries; Public Hospitals; Public Policy; Pregnancy; Resource Allocation; Risk; Sexually Transmitted Diseases; Social Discrimination; State Government; Statistics;
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