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J Obstet Gynecol Neonatal Nurs. 2004 Jul-Aug;33(4):472-9.

Nurses' attitudes toward pregnancy termination in the labor and delivery setting.

Author information

1
Memorial Medical Center, Sutter Affiliate, Modesto, CA 95355, USA.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine nurses' attitudes toward pregnancy termination in the labor and delivery setting and the frequency of nurse refusal to care for patients undergoing pregnancy termination.

DESIGN:

Nonexperimental, descriptive study.

SETTING:

Six central and northern California hospitals, including Level 1, 2, and 3 facilities.

PARTICIPANTS:

Seventy-five labor and delivery registered nurses.

METHOD:

Anonymous survey with visual analog scales.

RESULTS:

Ninety-five percent of the nurses indicated they would agree to care for patients terminating a pregnancy because of fetal demise, 77% would care for patients terminating a fetus with anomalies that were incompatible with life, and 37% would care for patients terminating for serious but nonlethal anomalies, with a significant drop in agreement as gestation advanced. Few nurses would agree to care for patients undergoing termination for sex selection, selective reduction, or personal reasons. Nurses both accepting and refusing patient care assignments were criticized by coworkers.

CONCLUSION:

Clear guidelines should be established on how to handle nurse refusal to care for patients terminating pregnancy in advance. Open discussions should be encouraged between staff and management to minimize criticism.

PMID:
15346673
DOI:
10.1177/0884217504266912
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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