Ethics at the Beginning of Life Flashcards Preview

MD2002 > Ethics at the Beginning of Life > Flashcards

Flashcards in Ethics at the Beginning of Life Deck (19):

Name the three methods of abortion.

Medical (i.e. pill) (preferred)
Vacuum aspiration/Suction (7-15 weeks)
Surgical (15 weeks onwards)


Beyond what point is an abortion considered 'late' and which of the methods of abortion can still be used this late on?

20 weeks onwards
Medical or Surgical


What did the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act state with regard to abortion?

Abortion illegal under any circumstance


In what year was abortion legalised under certain circumstances (the 19.. Abortion Act)?



According to the Abortion Act, when is abortion permitted normally?

Under 24 weeks - if continuing is a greater risk to woman's physical/mental health or existing children


Under what 3 circumstances is an abortion permitted beyond 24 weeks?

When necessary to prevent permanent injury
When continuing presents risk of life to woman
When there is a substantial risk of child being born with a serious handicap


Before 1990, what was the previous limit for abortions (bar extenuating circumstances) (in weeks)?

28 weeks


How many doctors must agree to the abortion before it is permitted?



Is it possible for females under the age of 16 to have an abortion?

Yes - no parental consent required assuming 'competency' and ability to understand risks and procedures involved


As a health care provider, what are you allowed to and not allowed to object to regarding abortions?

Allowed: directly participating
Not allowed: aiding in associated tasks and patient care


At what point does a foetus gain legal rights

Once it is alive and outside the uterus. May however warrant moral consideration whilst in the uterus


How is a 'serious handicap' defined?

No legal definition - left to the discretion of the patient and doctor


At what point is foeticide recommended by the RCOG?

22 weeks and beyond


What rights does a potential father have regarding the implantation of frozen embryos from IVF?

Consent needed from both mother and father to implant frozen embryos - therefore, if the father wishes for this not to happen, that decision will stand. Once embryo is implanted however, the father has no rights regarding abortion of other courses of action


Can healthcare professionals force a treatment or procedure on a mother to be regarding abortion or premature birth?

If she retains capacity to consent, then no, even if thinking process is bizarre and irrational


What is the difference between direct abortion and indirect abortion?

Direct: primary effect is to kill the foetus
Indirect: Primary effect is not killing the foetus but something else instead; death of the foetus is not intended and is a side effect


During medical pill abortion, what are the two pills used?

Mifoprostol (given 2 days later)


What does mifepristone (1st pill) do?

Prevents early implantation of embryo


What does mifoprostol (2nd pill) do?

Breaks down uterine lining