Lyerly publishes editorial in JAMA

The editorial by Anne Drapkin Lyerly, MD, MA, professor of social medicine and director of the UNC Center for Bioethics, argues that state laws restricting the end-of-life decisions that can be made by pregnant women are concerning.

Lyerly publishes editorial in JAMA click to enlarge Anne Drapkin Lyerly, MD, MA,

Anne Drapkin Lyerly, MD, MA, professor of social medicine and director of the UNC Center for Bioethics, authored an editorial that is published in the April 23/30 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

The editorial comments about another article published in the same issue that describes state statutes governing treatment decisions for incapacitated pregnant women, as well as official state advance directive documents, as of February 2019. That article found that 30 states restricted decisions to withdraw or withhold life support from women who are pregnant, and in 28 states with statutory pregnancy restrictions, these restrictions were not disclosed in 68% of official advance directive forms.

Lyerly argues that these restrictions are concerning because the restrictions make exception to the priority given to self-determination, bodily integrity, and freedom from unwanted medical intervention, the lack of transparency is a concern, and the restrictions create a dilemma for physicians who may be forced to choose between breaking the law and abandoning their ethical duties to their patient.

You can read the editorial here (a JAMA subscription may be required for access).