Pregnant Women

In: People

Submitted By Jaeon57
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Pages 3
The purpose of this paper is to identify the relevant issues regarding whether or not a pregnant woman should be punished for exposing her fetus to risk. The argument about whether a pregnant woman who exposes her unborn child to illegal drugs during pregnancy should be punished and charged with a criminal act is a very difficult issue. The use of illegal drugs that are known to cause harm and are considered illegal for that reason, they are known to cause harm. As a healthcare administrator, I am concerned with the idea that punishing the pregnant mother may send a message to other women that are abusing drugs during their pregnancy that will frighten them into either foregoing the seeking of substance abuse treatment or some other act desperate measures that will lead them to resulting in an illegal type of abortion, which may cause more harm. There are so many known and unknown risks to the fetus during pregnancy, such as, the exposure to psychiatric medications taken by mothers with mental health issues that could also put the fetus at greater risk, as well as the consumption of fertility drugs and other forms of treatment. To assume that punishment should be automatic assumes a “conclusion that all children exposed prenatally to cocaine would be damaged irrevocably and that their mother’s selfish and irresponsible drug-taking behavior is to blame for a national health tragedy” (Paltrow, 1999). Yet even medical experts cannot conclude with certainty that using cocaine or any other illegal substance during any part of the pregnancy will necessarily guarantee a negative outcome for the fetus. While use of illegal drugs is in fact a punishable crime, exposing the unborn fetus as a crime can be debatable. Not only does it depend on whose definition is used for when the fetus becomes a living being, but creates an argument about harm, where there is no substantiating…...

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