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CONTINUUM: Lifelong Learning in Neurology:
doi: 10.1212/01.CON.0000443845.63804.9e
Ethical Perspectives

Reproductive Issues in Women With Multiple Sclerosis: Ethical Considerations

Morgan-Followell, Bethanie N. MD; Nicholas, Jacqueline A. MD, MPH; Weisleder, Pedro MD, PhD

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Abstract

Addressing the reproductive concerns of women with multiple sclerosis (MS) is vital for comprehensive care. Contraception, conception, pregnancy, and breast-feeding present many vexing questions to the woman with MS. The risks and benefits of using disease-modifying therapy during the various stages of a woman’s reproductive life are topics that need to be discussed. The physician’s primary duty is to the patient; however, the physician must also consider the fetus and later the child. In helping guide the patient in making medical decisions, the physician must take into account the patient’s motivation for those decisions, including family obligations, cultural norms, and patient values. The physician is instrumental in providing the patient with sound, nonjudgmental information and advice so that she may make a well-informed, autonomous decision about her health and her disease.

Copyright © 2014 by the American Academy of Neurology.

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