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Vaccines, pregnancy and ethics

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the drug thalidomide was taken by pregnant women to counteract morning sickness —with the result that around 10 000 babies globally were born with limb deformities

Anencephaly

Anencephaly is an untreatable and terminal neural tube defect in which most of a fetus' brain, skull and scalp is missing It affects approximately 1 in 1000 pregnancies globally (Cook et al, 2008) and...

New routes to parenthood

Under the Gender Recognition Act 2004, an application for a gender recognition certificate must be granted if a Gender Recognition Panel decides that the applicant has—or has had—gender dysphoria; has...

Guilt, forgiveness and medical error

The writer Ambrose Bierce said that guilt is felt by one who has committed an indiscretion but failed to cover his tracks, while forgiveness aims to throw an offender off his guard and catch him...

HPV during pregnancy

The human papillomavirus (HPV) is an organism that is transmitted by skin-to-skin contact and frequently by vaginal, anal or oral sex The American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)...

Vegans, vegetarians and pregnancy

In December 2018, the prosperous vegan parents of a toddler, whose diet-related vitamin D deficiency caused her to develop rickets, were arrested in Australia (Chapman, 2018) This follows a UK case in...

Celebrity pregnancy

In 1977, Illich et al identified the rise of so-called professionals, such as lifestyle counsellors and food fad experts, who fed on consumers' ‘splintered needs and fractured self-confidence’ (Illich...

Reflecting on emergencies

I have chosen Gibb's (1988) model of reflective practice to make sense of an emergency I experienced while on my first clinical placement in maternity care For the purposes of this article and to...

Reproductive tourism

Although travelling abroad for the sake of one's health is centuries old—Lourdes, for instance, or ‘taking the waters’ in spas—the concept of so-called ‘medical tourism’ has increased in popularity in...

Midwifery and psychological care

Midwifery is unquestionably a noble profession However, in past years, midwifery training and education has arguably overlooked the psychology of childbirth and its impact on parents, families and the...

Breastfeeding: Ethics and evidence

In 1959, the chemist and novelist Charles Percy Snow delivered the Rede Lecture at the University of Cambridge Entitled ‘The Two Cultures’, he highlighted mutual incomprehension between science and...

Experiencing maternal death

Name? Age (if known)? Gravidity and parity? Cause of death? I sit on a block of sandstone outside, under the trees, with the monkeys tumbling around me, and the storm clouds gathering for the...

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