Fruit of the Womb
Fruit of the Womb

Grand Rounds 4.44 at GruntDoc!

Thanks to GruntDoc for the effort put into hosting this week's Grand Rounds 4.44. I am grateful that he included my recent post on Amniocentesis is Not Without Risk.

Admittedly, it is a long post, but it tells a story. I may be wrong, but I get the sense that the decisions being made by a couple of the featured readers are based on incomplete information and/or biased presentation of the same. (And, for our physician readers, I am not ruling out the possibility that certain patients hear what they want to hear!). That frustrates me because there is no one more vulnerable to that than pregnant women and their families.

It is sometimes hard to present the advantages/disadvantages and risks/benefits of the screening tests that are available during pregnancy without keeping our own feelings out of the equation, but an honest effort must be made to do so. That is especially true when the outcome of such a screening test might lead to an invasive diagnostic study such as an amniocentesis that could put the pregnancy at risk, albeit the risk is small. I am careful to tell patients that, they alone can make a decision with which they are most comfortable - a decision I cannot and will not make for them. In fact, I go so far as to tell them that I don't care what decision they make and that I don't care what they do with the information they may get from the procedure! But, to make that decision, they deserve to have balanced information with some responsibility on the part of the provider that they actually understand the information they are given. In the end, all we can promise is that if their choice is to proceed with an amniocentesis, we will do the best we can to make it, technically, the safest procedure possible.
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