Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=944917
 
 

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Ectopic Pregnancy and Emergency Care: Ethical and Legal Issues


Bernard Dickens


University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Rebecca J. Cook


University of Toronto - Faculty of Law

Anibal Faùndes


Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP)


International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Vol. 82, No. 1, pp. 121-126, 2003

Abstract:     
Ectopic or tubal pregnancy presents a medical emergency that requires prompt treatment in order to contain risks of maternal death and morbidity, including loss of future fertility. Medical circumstances involving individual patients and resources of the prevailing health care system will determine the options and means of treatment. Termination of ectopic pregnancy does not constitute or directly implicate abortion. Any practice of deliberately delaying treatment of reliably diagnosed ectopic pregnancy, on non-clinical grounds, until rupture of the fallopian tube has occurred or is imminent, in order to justify termination of the ectopic pregnancy on grounds of saving the patient's life, is unethical and illegal. Those who undertake or counsel deliberate delay of medically-indicated treatment can be charged with criminal offences and civil (non-criminal) liability, and medical professional misconduct. On reliable diagnosis, prompt treatment to remove ectopic pregnancy is legally justified, and ethically and legally required.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 6

Keywords: Ectopic pregnancy, Tubal pregnancy, Pregnancy, Emergency care, Methotrexate, Laparotomy, Salpingectomy, Laparoscopy

JEL Classification: I18, K19

Accepted Paper Series


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Date posted: November 20, 2006  

Suggested Citation

Dickens, Bernard and Cook, Rebecca J. and Faùndes , Anibal, Ectopic Pregnancy and Emergency Care: Ethical and Legal Issues. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Vol. 82, No. 1, pp. 121-126, 2003. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=944917

Contact Information

Bernard Dickens (Contact Author)
University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )
78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada
416-978-4849 (Phone)
416-978-7899 (Fax)
Rebecca J. Cook
University of Toronto - Faculty of Law ( email )
78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
Canada
416-978-4446 (Phone)
416-978-7899 (Fax)
Anibal Faùndes
Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP) ( email )
United States
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