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Practitioner. 1989 Jul 8;233(1472):990, 992.

An alternative to termination of pregnancy.


Few women choose to continue a pregnancy in which the foetus is not viable. However, the decision to terminate such a pregnancy may be more traumatic for some women and their partners than allowing nature to take its course.


One of the patients of a British doctor became pregnant and scan of the fetus showed that it was anencephalic. The doctor recommended the woman and her husband to an obstetrician, who in turn recommended termination of pregnancy (TOP). The couple refused, citing religious beliefs. The general practitioner who recommended them to the obstetrician then decided that instead of attempting to change the couples mind, she would instead counsel them and prepare them for the birth. She collected information on anencephalic and microcephalic babies and sent them to the parents. By the time of the birth, the parents were fairly knowledgeable about anencephaly. The birth of the child was smooth; however, the baby was stillborn. The counselor responsible for helping the family through its grieving stage, found that the mother was managing well and was more emotionally stable than the majority of women who underwent termination on genetic grounds.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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