Ethics in Child Health – Chapter 4: Prenatal consultation (ebook)


Chapter 4 of the book – Prenatal consultation: ethical challenges and proposed solutions

A recurring theme in this book concerns the ways in which advances in modern technology challenge service providers and families to confront ‘new’ issues. For example, prenatal assessments provide ‘information’ at earlier and earlier stages of fetal development. Before the availability of our current early detection capacities, infants were usually fi identifi   as having a developmental issue at birth or in infancy. Today, detection of impairment at a prenatal stage makes the level of uncertainty faced by counselors, and of course by families, proportionally greater. In this chapter Kett and colleagues present a clear interface between what can be considered ‘good clinical practice’ and what are emerging as the ethical imperatives that must explicitly guide these practices. In a pair of contrasting scenarios, they illustrate these issues and the ethical considerations that flow from them.

About the complete book

Have you ever:

  • Wondered how to deal with a family that repeatedly fails to keep clinic appointments?
  • Disagreed with colleagues over a proposed course of treatment for a child?
  • Considered ways to ‘bump’ a child on a waiting to speed up their assessment?

These are a few of the scenarios faced by clinicians in neurodisability on a daily basis. Ethics in Child Health explores the ethical dimensions of these issues that have either been ignored or not recognised. Each chapter is built around a scenario familiar to clinicians and is discussed with respect to how ethical principles can be utilised to inform decision-making. Useful ‘Themes for Discussion’ are provided at the end of each chapter to help professionals and students develop practical ethical thinking. Ethics in Child Health offers a set of principles that clinicians, social workers and policy-makers can utilise in their respective spheres of influence.


Readership: clinicians and paediatricians in neurodisability, service providers in neurodisability, community-based health professionals,  and health policy makers.

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