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Medical Ethics Without the Rhetoric: Case One, Put the Patient First?


Your patient is a pregnant 12-year-old girl and you are discussing options with her and her parents, who are practicing Catholics. The girl is pregnant by her boyfriend so there is no question of molestation. The girl is in poor health and, even putting aside her age, continuing the pregnancy is not medically advisable. The parents and the girl do not want to continue the pregnancy but have a special request. The request is that the girl’s medical record not state that she had an abortion.