Maternal-Fetal Research in Pregnancy
Ethics is an essential component of maternal-fetal research in pregnancy, including anesthesia. This chapter provides an ethical framework to guide and evaluate such research. It has four components: the ethical principle of beneficence; the ethical principle of respect for autonomy; the ethical concept of the fetus as a patient; and the core components of the ethics of human research in subjects. On the basis of this ethical framework, we provide criteria to guide and evaluate innovation in maternal-fetal medicine and randomized clinical trials of promising innovations. We also provide criteria for the responsible transition from clinical investigation to clinical practice. For research on maternal-fetal interventions, ethically justified criteria for the design, conduct, and evaluation of clinical investigation can be identified on the basis of ethical obligations to both the pregnant woman and her fetus. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
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