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The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (2016) Refusal of Medically Recommended Treatment during Pregnancy.

has been cited by the following article:

  • TITLE: Maternal Fetal Conflict from Legal Point of View Comparing Health Law in the United States and Islamic Law

    AUTHORS: Rahma Aburas, Mary Devereaux

    KEYWORDS: Maternal-Fetal Conflict

    JOURNAL NAME: Open Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Vol.7 No.8, August 2, 2017

    ABSTRACT: Objectives and Methodology: The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how maternal and fetal interests can sometimes be conflicting, and a situation can place care providers in a difficult position when it comes to decisionmaking. The study also intends to cover the health laws that deal with such situations in the legal systems of the United States and Islamic Law. This study takes the form of a critical literature review. The literature search was conducted using electronic citation databases that included Pub Med, Medline, Google Scholar, and others. The keywords used in this research related to medical and legal terms concerned with fetal rights, such as embryo, fetus, abortion, fetal rights, health law in the United States, Islamic health law, and comparative studies. The search was conducted in English as well as Arabic. Data were collected from books, journals, government documents, and Internet websites. Results: Doctors sometimes have to make difficult decisions when caring for pregnant women, since one person’s care directly affects another’s. The fetus depends fully on its mother for survival in the uterus. Nevertheless, at times it so happens that the interests of the mother and fetus differ. In such cases, a conflict between the two arises. Due to advances in technology in the medical field, doctors can now specifically target the fetus during medical procedures. When treating two different patients, health practitioners must choose that which is best for each patient independently. Approach to the maternal-fetal conflict must consider medical concerns, as well as legal ones. While there is some consistency in the medical approach between different countries, the legal part varies considerably, even among different states in America, as fetal legal status, personhood, and rights differ greatly. Islamic Law is practiced in many countries and has a special consideration for the fetus that is worth attention and understanding. Conclusion: Medically, when the interests of the mother and the fetus are in opposition, a maternal-fetal conflict arises. The two main forms are harmful maternal behavior to the fetus and maternal refusal to undergo specific procedures to improve the health condition of the fetus. Different states in the US have different health laws to deal with some aspects of maternal fetal conflicts, but on many occasions, no explicit rules can be found and healthcare workers need to use their own judgment. In Islamic Law, both conditions (i.e. , harmful maternal behavior or refusal to employ lifesaving procedures for the fetus) follow the general jurisprudence rule (damage needs to be removed), and the mother will be legally accountable if her actions result in fetal damage or death.