maternal-foetal conflict

maternal-foetal conflict

A medicolegal dilemma that arises when a mother wishes to carry out an activity that is potentially harmful to her foetus—such as drinking alcohol or working at a job with an occupational exposure to high levels of lead.

Current thought, based on the US Supreme Court’s decision in International Union v Johnson Controls 499 U.S. 187 (1991), is that protection of the foetus over the mother’s personal freedom is paternalistic and inappropriate, and the ultimate decision-maker must be the woman herself.
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