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Keywords

Assisted reproductive technology, Genetic testing, Nursing ethics.

 

Authors

  1. Callister, Lynn Clark PhD, RN, FAAN

Abstract

Among the ethical issues confronting maternal-child nurses are questions surrounding genetic testing, contraception and sterilization, infertility/assisted reproductive technology, and equality in balancing maternal-fetal needs. This article explores these issues, reviews the literature currently available, and discusses nursing clinical implications for each as well as representative case studies. The types of support needed by childbearing families who are facing ethical issues requires emotional and physical support, informational support, and advocacy support. The role of the nurse in educating women about the ethical implications of their choices cannot be overestimated. When women have been educated about the implications of their decisions and are therefore empowered to make informed decisions about their lives and their pregnancies, clinical nurses who practice ethically respect those decisions and support the women in their choices.