Реферат: Bad Choices During Pregnancy Essay Research Paper

Bad Choices During Pregnancy Essay, Research Paper

Bad Choices During Pregnancy

An unwritten don t ask, don t tell policy {in regards to pregnant women and what they put into their bodies}was once the rule and not the exception in our society. What this means is simple: doctors delivered infants without questioning the behavior of the mother. If the infant was born defective in some way, the mother paid. The infant paid. Society paid. After all, if the mother could not afford to provide all the care the infant needed because of special costs relating to a defect, the welfare system many times provides assistance to make sure the infant is cared for. As the infant matures and becomes a school-aged child, special classes may be necessary in order to see that the child is able to participate in society in some way, either as a totally self-sufficient adult, or as an adult who needs care and assistance from state and/or federal agencies.

The cost of caring for infants born with a defect that may have been wholly preventable is staggering. The key word here is preventable. The cost is one that is avoidable and it has taken our society until the second half of this century to decide to take action. Studies were conducted that show three or four drinks a week (of alcohol) can cause fetal damage. In fact, studies also show that one of the leading causes of mental retardation is through alcohol abuse in the mother.

Expectant mothers who use crack cocaine run the risk of prenatal strokes and seizures in their unborn babies. These problems continue after birth, when the babies are born addicted to the same drug their mothers were addicted to. These babies go through the same terrible withdrawl symptoms as do their mothers. In addition to that, the babies might also be born mentally retarded or worse. Again, these problems as mentioned above are completely preventable, as long as expectant mothers do not make the choice to use drugs or abuse alcohol.

Today, physicians regularly provide counseling to steer expectant mothers away from behavior that is detrimental to the unborn baby. Sometimes welfare and/or law enforcement officials are informed. They in turn act together to help show the expectant mother a better way. Even with this help available, even under threat of jail time, many expectant mothers continue to use drugs and alcohol. On the surface, this policy appears sound. It is also flawed. If a substance abusing mother fears going to jail because she cannot quit her habit, no matter how many warnings she gets from Family Services or her doctor, she may then decide not to seek much-needed prenatal care.

In what many people see as a step backwards, some states have rejected laws calling it child abuse when an expectant mother uses drugs that may adversely effect the development of her unborn fetus. The debate continues on this issue.

I believe that it is morally wrong for pregnant women to use drugs or abuse alcohol. It is nothing short of child abuse and the consequences are felt by the rest of society. I believe it to be morally and ethically just for the attending physician to inform law enforcement authorities

when a pregnant mother is determined to have been abusing alcohol or drugs during her pregnancy.

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