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Committee Opinion Number 427, February 2009

ABSTRACT: The World Health Organization estimates that 67,000 women, mostly in developing countries, die each year from untreated or inadequately treated abortion complications. Postabortion care, a term commonly used by the international reproductive health community, refers to a specific set of services for women experiencing problems from all types of spontaneous or induced abortion. There is increasing evidence that misoprostol is a safe, effective, and acceptable method to achieve uterine evacuation for women needing postabortion care. To reduce maternal mortality, availability of postab...


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 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...


185.
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 2017

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 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.


189.
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...


190.
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 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 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 323, November 2005

(Replaces No. 164, December 1995, Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: Because of a lack of evidence from randomized trials, it remains unclear whether the benefits of routine elective coincidental appendectomy outweigh the cost and risk of morbidity associated with this prophylactic procedure. Because the risk–benefit analysis varies according to patient age and history, the decision to perform an elective coincidental appendectomy at the time of an unrelated gynecologic surgical procedure should be based on individual clinical scenarios and patient characteristics and preferences.


Committee Opinion Number 313, September 2005

Reaffirmed 2017

ABSTRACT: The goal of preconception care is to reduce the risk of adverse health effects for the woman, fetus, or neonate by optimizing the woman's health and knowledge before planning and conceiving a pregnancy. Because reproductive capacity spans almost four decades for most women, optimizing women's health before and between pregnancies is an ongoing process that requires access to and the full participation of all segments of the health care system.


Committee Opinion Number 278, November 2002

Reaffirmed 2017

ABSTRACT: Clinically significant false-positive human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) test results are rare. However, some individuals have circulating factors in their serum (eg, heterophilic antibodies or nonactive forms of hCG) that interact with the hCG antibody and cause unusual or unexpected test results. False-positive and false-negative test results can occur with any specimen, and caution should be exercised when clinical findings and laboratory results are discordant. Methods to rule out the presence of interfering substances include using a urine test, rerunning the assay with serial ...


Committee Opinion Number 275, September 2002

(Replaces No. 121, April 1993, Reaffirmed 2016)

ABSTRACT: Effective rehabilitation and modern reproductive technology may increase the number of women considering pregnancy who have spinal cord injuries (SCIs). It is important that obstetricians caring for these patients are aware of the specific problems related to SCIs. Autonomic dysreflexia is the most significant medical complication seen in women with SCIs, and precautions should be taken to avoid stimuli that can lead to this potentially fatal syndrome. Women with SCIs may give birth vaginally, but when cesarean delivery is indicated, adequate anesthesia (spinal or epidural if possib...


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