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Abortion is the most contentious issue in contemporary medical practice. It divides physician from patient and physician from physician; it submerges deep ethical problems such as the destruction of physicians duty of fidelity to their patients; and, perhaps most troubling, leads physicians to support legal positions that are destructive of the privacy of the physician-patient relationship.

Abortion also poses medical malpractice risks because the courts do not give physicians a right to veto a woman's decision to have an abortion. Even when the courts limit a woman's access to an abortion, they still leave the decision to the woman. This becomes a malpractice issue when a fetus potentially suffers from a genetic disease or congenital anomaly. If a woman is denied information about the availability of prenatal testing and abortion, the physician may be held liable for the costs of caring for the damaged infant.

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