Chapter

Ethics of Prenatal Palliative Care

Robert C. Macauley

in Ethics in Palliative Care

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print March 2018 | ISBN: 9780199313945
Published online April 2018 | e-ISBN: 9780190652357 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/med/9780199313945.003.0011
Ethics of Prenatal Palliative Care

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  • Palliative Medicine
  • Patient Care and End-of-Life Decision Making
  • Medical Ethics

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Palliative care can begin before birth, as parents wrestle with a prenatal diagnosis of a serious condition. The options are not limited to terminating the pregnancy or providing maximal treatment upon delivery. Prenatal interventions and focusing on comfort following delivery are also options. This also impacts the method of delivery, for if a pregnant woman’s values demand respect, so also should a request for caesarean section for fetal distress, even in the context of a serious fetal condition. The language one uses also impacts management and outlook, with terms such as “incompatible with life” both inaccurate and misleading. This chapter discusses these issues in the context of palliative care.

Chapter.  6113 words. 

Subjects: Palliative Medicine ; Patient Care and End-of-Life Decision Making ; Medical Ethics

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