When Should Screening and Surveillance Be Used during Pregnancy?
AMA Journal of Ethics, March 2018
Using the ethical and legal concept of shared responsibility for healthy births, this article considers social, cultural, and historical contexts in which medicalization and criminalization have worked in tandem to widen surveillance in ways that intensify scrutiny of women's lives under the guise of child protection, bringing women who are pregnant, postpartum, or parenting under criminal justice control. Although pregnant and postpartum women are prime candidates for medication-assisted treatment (MAT), the expanding carceral system has not prioritized drug treatment or reproductive justice. This article investigates ethical and historical dimensions of the question, According to which principles and practices should screening and surveillance be carried out to reduce harm, safeguard civil and human rights-including reproductive autonomy-and ensure that treatment, when necessary, occurs in the least coercive settings possible?
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