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Ethical Issues in Giving Birth to a Baby 

Ethical Issues in Giving Birth to a Baby
Ethical Issues in Giving Birth to a Baby
Pediatric Ethics: Protecting the Interests of Children

Alan R. Fleischman


This chapter defines term and preterm delivery and explores the ethical concerns in delivery at the threshold viability. It examines the medical and ethical issues associated with elective delivery prior to 39 weeks gestation, do-not-resuscitate orders in the delivery room, and maternal illness and illicit behavior that jeopardize the fetus before birth. The beneficence-based moral obligations of practitioners working in the fields of obstetrics, neonatology and pediatrics are discussed, as well as the beneficence-based moral obligations of pregnant women. Additionally the knotty ethical problems of DNR decisions in the delivery room and the equally difficult decision-making that needs to take place in the event that the mother is declared brain dead are both covered in the chapter.

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