Authors
Judy Illes
University of British Columbia
Patrick McDonald
Seattle Pacific University
Abstract
:Open neural tube defects or myelomeningoceles are a common congenital condition caused by failure of closure of the neural tube early in gestation, leading to a number of neurologic sequelae including paralysis, hindbrain herniation, hydrocephalus and neurogenic bowel and bladder dysfunction. Traditionally, the condition was treated by closure of the defect postnatally but a recently completed randomized controlled trial of prenatal versus postnatal closure demonstrated improved neurologic outcomes in the prenatal closure group. Fetal surgery, or more precisely maternal-fetal surgery, raises a number of ethical issues that we address including who the patient is, informed consent, surgical innovation and equipoise as well maternal assumption of risk. As the procedure becomes more widely adopted into practice, we suggest close monitoring of new fetal surgery centers, in order to ensure that the positive results of the trial are maintained without increased risk to both the mother and fetus.
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DOI 10.1017/s0963180119000409
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References found in this work BETA

Paper: Ethical Challenges in Fetal Surgery.Anna Smajdor - 2011 - Journal of Medical Ethics 37 (2):88-91.

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Citations of this work BETA

Retrieving the Moral in the Ethics of Maternal-Fetal Surgery.Virginia L. Bartlett & Mark J. Bliton - 2020 - Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics 29 (3):480-493.

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