We are pleased to present this installment of Pandemic Policies and Practices, a distance-accessible series that will host discussions of relevant and thought-provoking ethical issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. This session
We are pleased to present this installment of Pandemic Policies and Practices, a distance-accessible series that will host discussions of relevant and thought-provoking ethical issues surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. This session examines ethical concerns related to the practice of evidence-based obstetric care in the pandemic setting. Specifically, we will explore ethical challenges related to a dearth of evidence and emerging but limited understanding of COVID-19 diagnosis or management during pregnancy and breastfeeding. We also consider the ethical dimensions of pandemic-related changes to ambulatory healthcare delivery for prenatal and postpartum populations, such as implementation of telemedicine and decreases in ultrasound and Doppler fetal surveillance. Further, we will discuss the distinct burdens of applying hospital infection prevention and control to inpatient obstetric settings, including COVID screening/testing, visitor restrictions, PPE requirements, and potential separation of mothers and infants. We explore in all cases the troubling propensity for the pandemic practice and policy responses to favor moral panic over judicious risk/benefit assessments and to exacerbate underlying disparities in maternal and neonatal outcomes. In conversation with Lisa Parker, PhD, Director of the University of Pittsburgh Center for Bioethics and Health Law, Marielle Gross, MD, MA of the University of Pittsburgh will discuss these issues, beginning with a brief presentation, and then will address questions posed by the audience.
(Tuesday) 11:00 am - 12:00 pm EST