Fetal Alcohol Syndrome: Is it ethical to ban women from consuming alcohol during pregnancy?

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome

Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is a condition in newborn babies caused by excessive intake of alcohol by mothers during pregnancy, characterized by various defects including mental retardation. FAS is estimated to occur in the U.S. in 1-3 infants per 1000 live births, and for every child born with FAS, 10 more suffer from alcohol related problems.

We asked doctors from all over the world on SERMO about their thoughts on alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Over 2300+ doctors responded to the question: Considering the rates and effects of fetal alcohol syndrome, is it ethical to ban women from consuming alcohol during pregnancy?” Here is how they responded:

  • 61% – Yes, always
  • 10% – Yes, but only if they’ve already had a child with fetal alcohol syndrome
  • 29% – No

Alongside the poll, physicians were able to explain their positions and add commentary.

“If you don’t believe in abortion because the ‘fetus is a person’, then drinking while pregnant should be prosecuted as assault.” – Ophthalmologist

“Education is the answer. Many women do not understand the connection to fetal alcohol syndrome nor the amount of consumption considered dangerous. Every woman in labor in our facility gets drug tested. We have a significant percentage of pot positive patients.” – Pathologist 

“This one is a no brainer. Pregnant women should not be served alcohol period. While not all laws can be enforced 100% of the time, banning women from consuming alcohol during pregnancy will certainly discourage drinking by pregnant women. Some pregnant women may either be misinformed or unaware of the dangers of drinking during pregnancy. That is why society has laws!” – Pediatrician

 Are you a physician? Login or join SERMO to let your voice be heard and share your opinion on this topic.

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