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Ethics is an essential dimension of obstetric practice. There is defined medical ethics and the fundamental ethical principles of beneficence and respect for autonomy. We then show how these two principles should interact in obstetric judgment and practice with emphasis on the core concept of the foetus as a patient. We then describe the professional responsibility of obstetric ethics. Obstetricians have beneficence based and autonomy-based obligations to the pregnant patient and beneficence-based obligations to the foetal patient.The result is evidence- based clinical judgement about diagnostic and therapeutic measures that are reliably expected to result in a greater balance of clinical goods over clinical harms. The pregnant woman's autonomy is empowered by offering or recommending medically reasonable alternatives. The informed consent process should be used as a preventive ethics tool.

About the Authors

F. A. Chervenak
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Weill Medical College of Cornell University (New York, USA)
United States

L. B. McCullough
Center for Medical Ethics and Heath Policy, Вауlor College of Medicine (Houston, USA)
United States


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For citation:

Chervenak F.A., McCullough L.B. ETHICS IN OBSTETRIC PRACTICE. Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproduction. 2014;8(3):47-52. (In Russ.)

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ISSN 2313-7347 (Print)
ISSN 2500-3194 (Online)