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Third Trimester Abortion for Fetal Abnormality

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Developments in medical technology have increased the possibility of diagnosing severe structural abnormalities in the fetus If these occur, a woman may request termination of her pregnancy. This raises serious ethical and legal questions, in particular if the anomalies are discovered in the third trimester when the fetus is considered viable. Should doctors be allowed to act upon a request for abortion in such a situation, and, if so, which safeguards should be in place? These questions are discussed with special reference to the Netherlands where a commission established by the government recently published a report on this matter.
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Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam

Publication date: 1999-07-01

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