Volume 23, Number 3, Fall 2012


“Quality of Life and Elective C-Sections: Defining Limits to Maternal and Family Interests”

Jeffrey P. Spike

The Journal of Clinical Ethics 23, no. 3 (Fall 2012): 252-255


The author analyzes the lessons for ethics consultants presented by McCrary and colleagues in their case, “Elective Delivery Before 39 Weeks’ Gestation: Reconciling Maternal, Fetal, and Family Interests in Challenging Circumstances.” Clinical ethics cases that involve different specialists representing the best interests of different parties in a case, such as this case involving neonatologists and perinatologists, are complex and time-consuming. The author concludes that ethics must insure the interests of the fetus and future person are not subsumed to the interests of those with a voice, without deliberate reflection and strong ethical justification.


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