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Legal and ethical issues in evaluating abortion services

Ferris LE. Am J Eval. 2000; 21(3):329-40.


When evaluation studies are conducted in a sensitive area, ethical and legal implications are bound to challenge evaluators. All too often, evaluators must deal with competing responsibilities in evaluating these programs or services. This article focuses on several ethical and legal issues that arose during an evaluation of abortion services. This article discusses the development of decision rules and considered the trade-offs in dealing with these ethical and legal issues so that rational and objective decisions could be reached. This discussion is placed within the context of balancing the utility and propriety evaluation standards with respect to obtaining true informed consent and protecting the privacy and confidentiality of data when evaluating abortion services. The article concludes with recommendations concerning the evaluation of abortion services.

Keywords: Women’s health Pregnancy Medical ethics

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