Volume 15, Issue 1, Spring 2015
Jay J. Bringman, MD, Robert B. Shabanowitz
The Placenta as an Organ of the Fetus
A Response to the Consensus Statement on Maternal–Fetal Conflict
The authors respond to a recent consensus statement on maternal–fetal vital conflicts. Sound ethical analysis must depend on accurate medical facts, but there appear to be inconsistencies in the medical analysis. The consensus statement says that the specific threat to the health of the mother immediately subsides following detachment of the placenta from the uterus. The authors refute this assertion, since death from peripartum cardiomyopathy may occur months to years following delivery of the neonate or following termination. The authors assert further that the placenta is an organ of the fetus and that any act on the placenta is a direct act on the fetus itself. National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly 15.1 (Spring 2015): 31–37.