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Committee Opinion Number 664, June 2016

(Replaces Committee Opinion Number 321, November 2005)

ABSTRACT: One of the most challenging scenarios in obstetric care occurs when a pregnant patient refuses recommended medical treatment that aims to support her well-being, her fetus’s well-being, or both. In such circumstances, the obstetrician–gynecologist’s ethical obligation to safeguard the pregnant woman’s autonomy may conflict with the ethical desire to optimize the health of the fetus. Forced compliance—the alternative to respecting a patient’s refusal of treatment—raises profoundly important issues about patient rights, respect for autonomy, violations of bodily integrity, power diffe...


Committee Opinion Number 578, November 2013

(Reaffirmed 2016. Replaces No. 395, January 2008)

ABSTRACT: Acknowledgment of the importance of patient autonomy and increased patient access to information, such as information on the Internet, has prompted more patient-generated requests for surgical interventions not traditionally recommended. Depending on the context, acceding to a request for a surgical option that is not traditionally recommended can be ethical. Decisions about acceding to patient requests for nontraditional surgical interventions should be based on strong support for patients’ informed preferences and values; understood in the context of an interpretive conversation; ...


Committee Opinion Number 559, April 2013

(Reaffirmed 2015)

ABSTRACT: Cesarean delivery on maternal request is defined as a primary prelabor cesarean delivery on maternal request in the absence of any maternal or fetal indications. Potential risks of cesarean delivery on maternal request include a longer maternal hospital stay, an increased risk of respiratory problems for the infant, and greater complications in subsequent pregnancies, including uterine rupture, placental implantation problems, and the need for hysterectomy. Potential short-term benefits of planned cesarean delivery compared with a planned vaginal delivery (including women who give b...


Committee Opinion Number 234, May 2000

(Replaces No. 219, August 1999, Reaffirmed 2015)

Prevention of transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) from mother to fetus or newborn (vertical transmission) is a major goal in the care of pregnant women infected with HIV. An important advance in this regard was the demonstration that treatment of the mother with zidovudine (ZDV) during pregnancy and labor and of the neonate for the first 6 weeks after birth could reduce the transmission rate from 25% to 8% (1). Continuing research into vertical transmission of HIV suggests that a substantial number of cases occur as the result of fetal exposure to the virus during labor a...


American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
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