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ARTICLE
Year : 2009  |  Volume : 12  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 92-98

Ethical considerations in women's sexual and reproductive health care


Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of Healthlth ScienceCommunity Medicine, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
J I Adinma
Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, College of Healthlth ScienceCommunity Medicine, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Nigeria

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 19562930

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BACKGROUND: The concept of reproductive health, which adopts a holistic approach to the management of reproductive disorders, was developed in 1994 at the International Conference on Population and Development. This together with the adoption of a right-based approach to the relationship between reproductive health and population and development and the emergence of the concept of sexual and reproductive right marked a turning point in contemporary global health care initiative. Sexual and reproductive healthcare raises ethical questions that fall within the purview of bio-ethics. OBJECTIVE: To review ethical issues related to women's sexual and reproductive healthcare. METHODOLOGY: A critical review of available literature on the subject matter was conducted. FINDINGS: Four key principles form the basis of Bioethical analysis--respect for person, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice, applicable at four different levels microethical, macroethical, mesoethical, and megaethical levels each of which can be employed in the ethical analysis of sexual and reproductive health care. Medical practitioners caring for women, for the fact that they work in areas of a woman's body that are of particular psychosocial sensitivity, are expected to adhere to strict ethical principles in their practice. The International Federation of Gynaecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) in collaboration with the Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria (SOGON) has developed a human right based code of ethics related to sexual and reproductive health care to guide medical practitioners caring for women in their daily practice. CONCLUSION: An understanding and proper application of the ethical principles is expected to enable these medical practitioners to actualize the ultimate and desired goal of uplifting the sexual and reproductive healthcare and right of women.


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