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Master Thesis

La place des émotions maternelles en médecine fœtale

Abstract : The woman and the couple are involved, in a more and more efficient way by fetal medicine practices, in the process of screening antenatal fetal anomalies. Progress made with medical imaging and biological examinations are leading towards the discovery of more and more in utero pathologies. These diagnoses, more or less premature, are breaking through maternal psyche during pregnancy, which is already a very particular moment in a woman’s life. Emotions are increasing and getting stronger for a woman who has been announced a fetal anomaly and she therefore has to cope with a kind of emotional turmoil. In the meantime, the discovery of a fetal anomaly involves that the woman will be taken care of by a Multidisciplinary Center of Prenatal Diagnosis (MCPD) and thus may consider the possibility of a Termination of Pregancy for Fetal Anomaly (TOP) if she wishes. If so, the MCPD will examine the request in order to either accept or refuse. In France indeed, having recourse to TOP is allowed until the end of the pregnancy, if the foetus suffers from a particular severe pathology, but the request has to come from either the mother or from the couple. The question is now to understand how a woman can take such an important decision, considering the state of emotional confusion she is in, due to the sudden announcement of the anomaly. How can she process her emotions, especially the negative ones, within the transgressive process of having recourse to TOP?
A time of reflection was necessary to understand the stakes of the process in fetal medicine for women as well as the function of emotions and the maternal criteria involved in the decision of terminating pregnancy. To finish with, and in order to have theoretical aspects confronting reality, it appeared essential to find out more about the emotional experience of these women who had to go through this process. In order to do so, a collection of maternal testimonies gathered through a forum and a blog have been studied and enabled identifying the emotions at stake as well as the debate process, leading to the decision of terminating a pregnancy for medical reasons. It appears that unless emotions are real, the decision of proceeding to TOP is necessary for these women. It therefore implies a feeling of huge guilt and great moral suffering, which might make the grieving process more difficult. As a consequence, it seems important that the MCPD teams support or even increase the value of these emotions in order to rationalize them and therefore facilitate the decision-making process, while finding a right balance between those two different fields.
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Master Thesis
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Submitted on : Thursday, May 20, 2021 - 11:30:03 AM
Last modification on : Friday, August 5, 2022 - 2:43:21 PM


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  • HAL Id : dumas-03230824, version 1


Lucile Cosson Abiola. La place des émotions maternelles en médecine fœtale. Ethique. 2020. ⟨dumas-03230824⟩



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