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The role of feticide in the context of late termination of pregnancy: a qualitative study of health professionals' and parents' views

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Ruth Graham, Professor Judith Rankin, Professor Steve RobsonORCiD


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Objective To provide an in-depth account of the role feticide has relative to experiences of late termination of pregnancy (TOP). Method Exploratory qualitative interview study. Participants were recruited from three National Health Service (NHS) units that provide secondary and tertiary level fetal medicine services. Data were collected from 36 in-depth interviews, with 12 parents (representing eight cases) who had experienced late TOP for fetal anomaly and 23 health professional,; with experience of feticide provision. The qualitative analysis utilised a generative thematic approach, facilitated by Atlas.ti qualitative software package. Results Two key themes from the study provide data on how perceptions of feticide were described by those involved in late TOP: (1) feticide is recognised and described as a legitimate clinical procedure and (2) the practice of feticide is conceptualised as difficult but necessary. Conclusion For health professionals who provide and facilitate feticide, and for parents making decisions about late TOP and feticide, the procedure is understood as a necessary rather than chosen activity. Parents' perceptions of feticide may differ, and good clinical care must be designed to cope with this variation. For health professionals, feticide seems more readily distinguished from other types of TOP activities and may evoke simultaneous positive and negative perceptions. Copyright (c) 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Graham RH, Mason K, Rankin J, Robson SC

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Prenatal Diagnosis

Year: 2009

Volume: 29

Issue: 9

Pages: 875-881

ISSN (print): 0197-3851

ISSN (electronic): 1097-0223

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


DOI: 10.1002/pd.2297


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