This fall, KIE Director Maggie Little began serving as one of two ethicists on the Committee on Ethics of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), a non-profit organization with more than 55,000 members and the leading group of physicians in the U.S. providing health care for women.
The Committee is tasked with identifying, evaluating, and making recommendations on issued faced by women’s health practitioners, often in consultation with organizations such as the American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Not only do these recommendations educate doctors on morally aspirational practice, but they are also taken into consideration by ACOG’s Committee on Practice in setting standards of care for working obstetricians and gynecologists.
Recent issues considered by the Committee intersect with Dr. Little’s interests in the conceptual relationship between carrier and fetus, and how to balance the medical and lifestyle choices of the former with the health of the latter. Ethical questions arising from sex-specific abortion, rising rates of birth by Caesarean section, pandemic planning for pregnant women, caring for women with higher-order multiples, incorporating patients’ birthing values, and a host of other issues concerning pregnant women’s autonomy have been discussed by the Committee. Dr. Little says that she is delighted to provide her philosophical expertise to ACOG and to the cause of women’s health.