Is it justified to prosecute women who used substances during their pregnancy that caused an effect on the child?
Pregnant women hold the most accountability in regards to what happens to the fetus developing inside their body and if they put the fetus’s health at risk and there is an effect detected after birth, they should be held responsible as well. Comparing this accountability on a different scale, these situations relate to a person’s accountability and owning up to the responsibility of their actions. If a person who drinks alcohol and drives with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level higher than the legal limit, they are not only putting themselves in a dangerous situation and in harm’s way, but they are also putting other people in harm’s way, other drivers and riders as well. The driver who is legally drunk and illegally driving is held responsible and can be charged with a fine and even jail time. If a person drives without a seatbelt on, or allows other riders that are under age to ride without a seatbelt, they are being put in danger if they are in a car accident because they will not be protected correctly, and that driver is held responsible and is fined. If a doctor is accused of Medical malpractice, which “is defined as any act or omission by a physician during treatment of a patient that deviates from accepted norms of practice in the medical community and causes an injury to the patient”, (Bal 2008.) they can be charged and prosecuted and held responsible for their actions because their actions directly affect someone’s well-being. If a parent puts their child in harm, or harms that child themselves, then they are held accountable for that child’s safety and can result in ...
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...legal substances during pregnancy. “One study estimated that there are about 9,000 births per year to narcotic-addicted women.” (Birth Defect Statistics, 2010) These statistics show that drug use during pregnancy is an issue and that not only illegal substances are involved but legal substances like nicotine and alcohol that are harmful to the health of a fetus, is an issue as well. This pertains to the question of, is it justified to prosecute women who used substances during their pregnancy that caused an effect on the child, because a pregnant women who used substances, illegal or not, knowingly that there can be a negative effect on the fetus, is putting that fetus in harm’s way. Not only does that increase the risk of the fetus’s development and delivery but as well as the future health of the fetus after birth, arguing if that is grounds for child abuse or not.
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