Unprecedented Ethical Challenges Facing Obstetrics & Gynecology

The modern technology has made remarkable medical scientific strides in Obstetrics & Gynecology; however these very advances have been presenting unprecedented ethical challenges. In disparity to thousands of years if not hundreds of human history, the scientific advances have always placed the conception, the pregnancy as well as the childbirth under the medical control. Although many of the advances hold the promise of happiness and the budding of parenthood for a few, the flourishing treatment of some of the fetal conditions, they also pose major ethical dilemmas.

The questions in Obstetrics & Gynecology are normally shaped by cultural and religious concerns. In 4th century B.C, the Greece physicians took the Hippocratic Oath which is one of the earliest codes of medical ethics that specifically promised that they would not in any way assist a woman who was seeking to abort the child. Some modern cultures have a very strong objection to the male physicians who are present during the child delivery, while for centuries the Obstetrics & Gynecology were the preserve of the female midwives. The major advances in child birth technology in the 19th century as well as the 20th, such as development of the chloroform based anesthesia, normally revolutionized this field and increasingly took birth into the hospital out of the home.

While culture and religion play a major role in the ethical consideration of Obstetrics & Gynecology, maybe an even more essential element is the economy: the decision on how to allocate the scarce resources so as to meet the needs of the pregnant women. In wealthier nations, for instance, women choosing elective C-sections are increasing: although the normal deliveries cover 90 to 95% of births, 31.5 % of the American women prefer C-sections while giving birth, partly because the physicians are concerned over the malpractice lawsuits. The C-sections as well costs twice as much as a normal delivery, a fact that gives a break to the medical insurance diligence as well.

Abortion is also another issue that also focuses many ethical concerns in this field. Secular legal and religions systems differ on which time that the fetus can be identified as a human being and numerous societies view a male child as economically preferable as compared to female. The inexpensive sonogram technology allows the parents to choose early abortion in order to have that child of a specific gender. Subsequent to the radical race policy of Holocaust, the eugenics was hugely discredited, but mapping of human genome made it increasingly likely for the women undergoing the vitro fertilization to actually select embryos on the base of their genetic makeup, a diagnosis known as the pre-implantation genetic. The embryos with genetic defects or character and not desirable by the parents are discarded. The practice raises the significant ethical consideration and has a long-term impact on human gene pool

In artificial insemination and vitro fertilization offers many childless couples parenthood. This technology has been used since the first "test tube baby" in the year 1979; it separates the conception in a radical manner: the child may be born from an ovum donor, a sperm donor, or even both.

The modern medical technology pertaining Obstetrics & Gynecology, even as it seems miraculous, it has the potential to wipe out the human society, and the medical practitioners are normally faced with the ethical dilemmas one pregnancy each time.

The OBGYN Centre offers premium pregnancy care and delivery services in the heart of town. You have our complete assurance that we will do our utmost to ensure a safe, uneventful and happy outcome for you and your child. Our antenatal services are also uniquely supplemented with 3D/4D fetal imaging to enhance the pregnancy experience for the family.

Algene C.

The author is currently taking up law who blogs on her free time.

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