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Committee Opinion Number 423, January 2009

Reaffirmed 2016

Abstract: Applying the principles of motivational interviewing to everyday patient interactions has been proved effective in eliciting "behavior change" that contributes to positive health outcomes and improved patient–physician communication. Current Procedural Terminology codes are available to aid in obtaining reimbursement for time spent engaging patients in motivational interviewing for some conditions.


Committee Opinion Number 410, June 2008

(Reaffirmed 2014)

ABSTRACT: Genetic testing is poised to play an increasing role in the practice of obstetrics and gynecology. To assure patients of the highest quality of care, physicians should become familiar with the currently available array of genetic tests and the tests' limitations. Clinicians should be able to identify patients within their practices who are candidates for genetic testing. Candidates will include patients who are pregnant or considering pregnancy and are at risk for giving birth to affected children as well as gynecology patients who, for example, may have or be predisposed to certain...


Committee Opinion Number 409, June 2008

Reaffirmed 2016

ABSTRACT: Marketing of genetic testing, although similar to direct-to-consumer advertising of prescription drugs, raises additional concerns and considerations. These include issues of limited knowledge among patients and health care providers of available genetic tests, difficulty in interpretation of genetic testing results, lack of federal oversight of companies offering genetic testing, and issues of privacy and confidentiality. Until all of these considerations are addressed, direct or home genetic testing should be discouraged because of the potential harm of a misinterpreted or inaccur...


Committee Opinion Number 390, December 2007

Reaffirmed 2016

ABSTRACT: Physicians vary widely in their familiarity with ethical theories and methods and their sensitivity toward ethical issues. It is important for physicians to improve their skills in addressing ethical questions. Obstetrician–gynecologists who are familiar with the concepts of medical ethics will be better able to approach complex ethical situations in a clear and structured way. By considering the ethical frameworks involving principles, virtues, care and feminist perspectives, concern for community, and case precedents, they can enhance their ability to make ethically justifiable cl...


205.
December 2007

Committee Opinion Number 389, December 2007

(Reaffirmed 2015)

ABSTRACT: Because human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection often is detected through prenatal and sexually transmitted disease testing, an obstetrician–gynecologist may be the first health professional to provide care for a woman infected with HIV. Universal testing with patient notification and right of refusal ("opt-out" testing) is recommended by most national organizations and federal agencies. Although opt-out and "opt-in" testing (but not mandatory testing) are both ethically acceptable, the former approach may identify more women who are eligible for therapy and may have public hea...


Committee Opinion Number 385, November 2007

Reaffirmed 2016

ABSTRACT: Health care providers occasionally may find that providing indicated, even standard, care would present for them a personal moral problem—a conflict of conscience—particularly in the field of reproductive medicine. Although respect for conscience is important, conscientious refusals should be limited if they constitute an imposition of religious or moral beliefs on patients, negatively affect a patient's health, are based on scientific misinformation, or create or reinforce racial or socioeconomic inequalities. Conscientious refusals that conflict with patient well-being should be a...


Committee Opinion Number 378, September 2007

Reaffirmed 2016

ABSTRACT: So-called "vaginal rejuvenation," "designer vaginoplasty," "revirgination," and "G-spot amplification" are vaginal surgical procedures being offered by some practitioners. These procedures are not medically indicated, and the safety and effectiveness of these procedures have not been documented. Clinicians who receive requests from patients for such procedures should discuss with the patient the reason for her request and perform an evaluation for any physical signs or symptoms that may indicate the need for surgical intervention. Women should be informed about the lack of data supp...


Committee Opinion Number 376, August 2007

(Reaffirmed 2014)

ABSTRACT: Safety concerns have been raised regarding the use of nalbuphine hydrochloride during labor. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists finds data are insufficient to recommend any changes in nalbuphine hydrochloride administration at this time.


Committee Opinion Number 375, August 2007

(Reaffirmed 2015)

ABSTRACT: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration considers generic and brand name oral contraceptive (OC) products clinically equivalent and interchangeable. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists supports patient or clinician requests for branded OCs or continuation of the same generic or branded OCs if the request is based on clinical experience or concerns regarding packaging or compliance, or if the branded product is considered a better choice for that individual patient.


210.
August 2007

Committee Opinion Number 374, August 2007

Reaffirmed 2016

ABSTRACT: It is the duty of obstetricians and gynecologists who testify as expert witnesses on behalf of defendants, the government, or plaintiffs to do so solely in accordance with their judgment on the merits of the case. Obstetrician–gynecologists must limit testimony to their sphere of medical expertise and must be prepared adequately. They must make a clear distinction between medical malpractice and medical maloccurrence. The acceptance of fees that are greatly disproportionate to those customary for professional services can be construed as influencing testimony given by the witness, a...


211.
August 2007

Committee Opinion Number 373, August 2007

Reaffirmed 2016

ABSTRACT: The physician-patient relationship is damaged when there is either confusion regarding professional roles and behavior or clear lack of integrity that allows sexual exploitation and harm. Sexual contact or a romantic relationship between a physician and a current patient is always unethical, and sexual contact or a romantic relationship between a physician and a former patient also may be unethical. The request by either a patient or a physician to have a chaperone present during a physical examination should be accommodated regardless of the physician's sex. If a chaperone is prese...


Committee Opinion Number 371, July 2007

Reaffirmed 2016

ABSTRACT: Sterilization, like any other surgical procedure, must be carried out under the general ethical principles of respect for autonomy, beneficence, and justice. Women requesting sterilization should be encouraged to discuss their decision and associated issues with their husbands or other appropriate intimate partners. The physician who objects to a patient's request for sterilization solely as a matter of conscience has the obligation to inform the patient that sterilization services may be available elsewhere and should refer the patient to another caregiver. The presence of a mental...


Committee Opinion Number 370, July 2007

(Reaffirmed 2015)

ABSTRACT: Hospitals, academic institutions, professional corporations, and other health care organizations should have policies and procedures by which alleged violations of professional behavior can be reported and investigated. These institutions should adopt policies on legal representation and indemnification to protect those whose responsibilities in managing such investigations may expose them to potentially costly legal actions. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' Committee on Ethics supports the position of the American Association of University Professors regardi...


Committee Opinion Number 365, May 2007

Reaffirmed 2016

ABSTRACT: Consultations usually are sought when practitioners with primary clinical responsibility recognize conditions or situations that are beyond their level of expertise or available resources. One way to maximize prompt, effective consultation and collegial relationships is to have a formal consultation protocol. The level of consultation should be established by the referring practitioner and the consultant. The referring practitioner should request timely consultation, explain the consultation process to the patient, provide the consultant with pertinent information, and continue to c...


Committee Opinion Number 363, April 2007

(Reaffirmed 2015)

ABSTRACT: Recommendations to patients about testing should be based on current medical knowledge, a concern for the patient's best interests, and mutual consultation. In addition to establishing a diagnosis, testing provides opportunities to educate, inform, and advise. The ethical principles of respect for autonomy (patient choice) and beneficence (concern for the patient's best interests) should guide the testing, counseling, and reporting process. Clear and ample communication fosters trust, facilitates access to services, and improves the quality of medical care.


Committee Opinion Number 359, January 2007

(Reaffirmed 2015)

ABSTRACT: Increasing numbers of physicians sell and promote both medical and nonmedical products as part of their practices. Physicians always have rendered advice and treatment for a fee, and this practice is appropriate. It is unethical under most circumstances, however, for physicians to sell or promote medical or nonmedical products or services for their financial benefit. The following activities are considered unethical: sale of prescription drugs to be used at home, sale or promotion of nonprescription medicine, sale or promotion of presumptively therapeutic agents that generally are n...


Committee Opinion Number 352, December 2006

(Reaffirmed 2015)

ABSTRACT: Innovations in medical practice are critical to the advancement of medicine. Good clinicians constantly adapt and modify their clinical approaches in ways they believe will benefit patients. Innovative practice frequently is approached very differently from formal research, which is governed by distinct ethical and regulatory frameworks. Although opinions differ on the distinction between research and innovative practice, the production of generalizable knowledge is one defining characteristic of research. Physicians considering innovative practice must disclose to patients the purp...


Committee Opinion Number 346, October 2006

(Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: Amnioinfusion has been advocated as a technique to reduce the incidence of meconium aspiration and to improve neonatal outcome. However, a large proportion of women with meconium-stained amniotic fluid have infants who have taken in meconium within the trachea or bronchioles before meconium passage has been noted and before amnioinfusion can be performed by the obstetrician; meconium passage may predate labor. Based on current literature, routine prophylactic amnioinfusion for the dilution of meconium-stained amniotic fluid is not recommended. Prophylactic use of amnioinfusion for m...


Committee Opinion Number 340, July 2006

(Replaces No. 265, December 2001, Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: In light of recent studies that further clarify the long-term risks of vaginal breech delivery, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that the decision regarding mode of delivery should depend on the experience of the health care provider. Cesarean delivery will be the preferred mode for most physicians because of the diminishing expertise in vaginal breech delivery. Planned vaginal delivery of a term singleton breech fetus may be reasonable under hospital-specific protocol guidelines for both eligibility and labor management. Before a vaginal breech del...


Committee Opinion Number 339, June 2006

(Reaffirmed 2016, Replaces No. 269, February 2002)

ABSTRACT: Neuraxial analgesia techniques are the most effective and least depressant treatments for labor pain. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists previously recommended that practitioners delay initiating epidural analgesia in nulliparous women until the cervical dilatation reached 4–5 cm. However, more recent studies have shown that epidural analgesia does not increase the risks of cesarean delivery. The choice of analgesic technique, agent, and dosage is based on many factors, including patient preference, medical status, and contraindications. The fear of unnecessary ...


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