Let us talk about eggs! Professional resistance to elective egg vitrification and gendered medical paternalism

Med Health Care and Philos (2017), p1-13
Authors: Judit Sándor, Lilla Vicsek, Zsófia Bauer
“In this paper, by applying a feminist bioethical perspective, we identify a new form of medical paternalism that still shapes contemporary legal policies on human egg cryopreservation performed without medical reasons. The fear of negligent, careless women who opt to delay their pregnancy for mere convenience is a widely known gender biased stereotype. Nevertheless, the opinions and judgments of medical professionals on this issue have not yet been sufficiently explored by in-depth research. In this essay, therefore, first we look at the broader bioethical, legal, and social aspects of human egg cryopreservation. In the second part of the paper we discuss a unique qualitative study conducted with professionals working at Hungarian IVF clinics.”
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Calvary Hospital, doctor sued for negligence after stillbirth of baby girl

SMH, 6 October 2017
Author: Alexandra Back
“A Canberra couple who tried unsuccessfully for years to have a baby is suing Calvary Hospital and an obstetrician for negligence, after their baby girl was stillborn in an operating theatre.”
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Nudge me, help my baby: on other-regarding nudges

Journal of Medical Ethics 2017; 43: 702-706.
Authors: Hafez Ismaili M’hamdi, Medard Hilhorst, Eric A P Steegers, Inez de Beaufort
“In the period surrounding pregnancy, maternal choice behaviour has a significant influence on perinatal morbidity and mortality as well as the development of chronic diseases later in life. One’s health is thus a matter of one’s own as well as one’s maternal choices. Therefore, self-regarding and other-regarding nudges should be considered as viable strategies to promote health. In this article, we introduce the concept of other-regarding nudges. We use the harm principle and the principle of beneficence to justify these other-regarding nudges. We conclude by stressing the importance of a fair assessment of expectations towards the nudgee, when determining whether a nudge is aimed at preventing harm or promoting a good.”
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A health issue, not a crime: it’s time to scrap outdated abortion laws

The Guardian, 25 June 2017
Author: Caroline de Costa Heather Douglas
“On Wednesday the Queensland law reform commission (QLRC) received a reference to consider how Queensland should amend laws relating to termination of pregnancy and remove abortion offences from the criminal code. The QLRC has 12 months to report on how to repeal these archaic Queensland laws dating back to 1861.”
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Decriminalisation in the NT signals abortion is part of normal health care

The Conversation, 24 March 2017
Author: Suzanne Belton
“The Northern Territory parliament this week passed a bill decriminalising abortion up to 24 weeks’ gestation, removing the requirement of parental approval for abortions in teenagers and providing early medical abortions with tablets.”
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Why critics say a Texas bill lets anti-abortion doctors lie to pregnant women

The Washington Post, 11 March 2017
Author: Peter Holley
“In announcing the proposed legislation in November, Creighton’s office said that the state senator from Conroe, near Houston, “took a stand for the unborn with a bill intended to protect doctors from legal pressure to recommend abortion. Based on legal precedent, doctors can be assigned liability for children born with abnormalities if they identified those abnormalities in utero and failed to advocate for termination, resulting in what’s termed a ‘wrongful birth.’” The bill’s opponents say S.B. 25 would create an incentive for antiabortion doctors to avoid conducting prenatal tests, of fully informing pregnant women of the test results — or even to lie to patients who might seek an abortion after learning their fetus has abnormalities.”
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States Wrestle With Legalizing Payments For Gestational Surrogates

NPR, 10 March 2017
Author: Emily Sohn
“Last month, state legislators proposed a bill that would regulate gestational surrogacy — potentially adding legal oversight to fertility clinics that facilitate these pregnancies, when one woman carries a pregnancy for another. Minnesota’s surrogacy legislation and the debates that surround it echo the larger national debate on reproductive rights.”
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Appeal Court overturns first case based on ruling that patients have right to information on treatment options

BMJ 2017; 356: j992
Author: Clare Dyer
“A pregnant woman was entitled to be told about research indicating that there were risks to her fetus in delaying labour, the Court of Appeal has ruled in an important judgment on patients’ right to information.The three Appeal Court judges held that Burton Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust was liable for the serious brain damage suffered by Sebastian Webster as a result of his late delivery 14 years ago, reversing a High Court judgment in favour of the trust.”
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Paid protection? Ethics of incentivised long-acting reversible contraception in adolescents with alcohol and other drug use

Journal of Medical Ethics 2017;43:182-187.
Authors: Won T, Blumenthal-Barby J, Chacko M
“Pregnant adolescents have a higher risk of poor maternal and fetal outcomes, particularly in the setting of concomitant maternal alcohol and other drug (AOD) use. Despite numerous programmes aimed at reducing overall teen pregnancy rates and the recognition of AOD use as a risk factor for unintended pregnancy in adolescents, interventions targeting this specific group have been sparse. In adult drug-using women, financial incentives for contraception have been provided but are ethically controversial. This article explores whether a trial could ethically employ monetary incentives in adolescents with AOD use to promote the use of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC), with special attention to the relevant distinctions between adults and adolescents.”
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