The ethical obligations of the obstetrician to both the fetal patient and pregnant patient originate in the ethical concept of medicine as a profession.
Obstetricians have beneficence-based and autonomy-based obligations to the pregnant patient and beneficence-based obligations to the fetal patient, which need to be carefully balanced in different clinical situations.
The important roles of directive and nondirective counseling are explained, as well as the sometimes neglected role of preventive ethics.
FIGO committee for the ethical aspects of human reproduction and women's health. Int J Gynaecol Obstet 2107;136:249–251.
McCullough LB. The ethical concept of medicine as a profession: its origins in modern medical ethics and implications for physicians In Kenny N, Shelton W, eds. Lost Virtue: Professional Character Development in Medical Education, pp. 17–27. New York: Elsevier, 2006.
Chervenak FA, McCullough LB. The Professional Responsibility Model of Ethics in Perinatal Medicine. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2014.
McCullough LB, Chervenak FA. Ethics in Obstetrics and Gynecology. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 1994.
Chervenak FA, Brent RL, McCullough LB. The professional responsibility model of obstetric ethics: avoiding the perils of clashing rights. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2011;205(4):315.e1–315.e5. DOI: 10.1016/j.ajog.2011.06.006
Chervenak FA, McCullough LB. The unlimited rights model of obstetric ethics threatens professionalism: a commentary. BJOG 2017;124(8):1144–1147. DOI: 10.1111/1471-0528.14495
Chervenak FA, McCullough LB. The limits of viability. J Perinat Med 1997;25(5):418–420.
Chervenak FA, McCullough LB, Levene MI. An ethically justified clinically comprehensive approach to peri-viability: gynaecological, obstetric, perinatal, and neonatal dimensions. J Obstet Gynaecol 2007;27(1):3–7. DOI: 10.1080/01443610601133605
Chervenak FA, McCullough LB. An ethically justified, clinically comprehensive management strategy for third-trimester pregnancies complicated by fetal anomalies. Obstet Gynecol 1990;75(3 Pt 1):311–316.
Chervenak FA, McCullough LB, Campbell S. Is third trimester abortion justified? Br J Obstet Gynaecol 1995;102(6):434–435. DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.1995.tb11311.x
Chervenak FA, McCullough LB, Campbell S. Third trimester abortion: is compassion enough? Br J Obstet Gynaecol 1999;106(4):293–296. DOI: 10.1111/j.1471-0528.1999.tb08264.x
Chervenak FA, McCullough LB. Clinical guides for preventing ethical conflict between pregnant women and their physicians. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1990;162(2):303–307. DOI: 10.1016/0002-9378(90)90374-g
Chervenak FA, McCullough LB. An ethically justified practical approach to offering, recommending, performing, and referring for induced abortion and feticide. Am J Obstet Gynecol 2009;201(6):560.e1–560.e6. DOI: 10.1016/j.ajog.2009.05.057