Changing ethical issues in the treatment of spina bifida: A personal odyssey

John M. Freeman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


The ethical issues to be considered when assisting a family in making decisions about a child with spina bifida have varied in different geographical locations and over the past decades. Although now, in the United States, most infants are detected in utero and most detected pregnancies are terminated, the process by which such decisions should be made rarely seems to meet the standards of a good decision-making process. The small numbers of infants born with spina bifida require careful decision-making by the physician-parent-healthcare team. These decisions must be made in light of conflicting interpretations of current health care regulations and court rulings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)302-307
Number of pages6
JournalMental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities Research Reviews
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1998


  • Decision-making in newborn
  • Ethics
  • Myelomeningocele
  • Spina bifida

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Genetics(clinical)


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