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Ciência & Saúde Coletiva

On-line version ISSN 1678-4561Print version ISSN 1413-8123


DINIZ, Debora; PENALVA, Janaína; FAUNDES, Aníbal  and  ROSAS, Cristião. Anencephaly: the magnitude of the judicial authorization among medical doctors in Brazil. Ciênc. saúde coletiva [online]. 2009, vol.14, suppl.1, pp.1619-1624. ISSN 1678-4561.

This paper describes the magnitude of the medical care for pregnant women with an anencephalic fetus. Anencephaly is an abnormality incompatible with life. The right to abort in this case is under litigation at the Brazilian Supreme Court. This survey was conducted among 1,814 medical doctors, all of them affiliated to the Brazilian Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (Febrasgo), corresponding to 12% of the doctors within this federation. The results show that, in a group of 9,730 women cared by the physicians over the last 20 years, 85% preferred to interrupt pregnancy in case of anencephaly. This fact reveals how common the experience of assist women pregnant with an anencephalic fetus is in health care services, as well as the ethical challenge imposed by the restrictive Brazilian legislation on abortion.

Keywords : Abortion; Anencephaly; Therapeutic Abortion; Interruption of Pregnancy.

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