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Ethics issues & resources

This section of the website aims to inform and encourage debate on subjects of ethical interest relevant to the O&G. It contains links to published RCOG guidelines, material on current issues and useful resources.

Ethics Committee

The RCOG Ethics Committee was disbanded in November 2014.

Recent issues discussed by the Ethics Committee

Female genital cosmetic surgery (2013)

In 2013 the Ethics Committee published an opinion paper on ethical considerations related to female genital cosmetic surgery (FGCS).

Previous issues discussed by the Ethics Committee

Below are links to previous discussion papers produced by the Ethics Committee on various issues.

Elective caesarean (2006)

Human Rights Act 1998 (2006)

Sex selection (2002)

General ethics resources

The following organisations provide advice and resources on ethics issues in medicine. None of the organisations is related to the RCOG and we cannot accept responsibility for their content.

Recommended reading

These titles are a useful source of information about ethics in medicine and in O&G in particular. All are available in the RCOG library.

  • Campbell A, Gillet G, Jones G (editors). Medical ethics, 3rd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2001.
  • Dickenson DL (editor). Ethical issues in maternal–fetal medicine. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; 2002.
  • Jonsen AR, Siegler M, Winslade WJ. Clinical ethics: a practical approach to ethical decisions in clinical medicine, 5th edition. New York, Chicago: McGraw-Hill; 2002.
  • McCullough LB, Chervenak FA. Ethics in Obstetrics and Gynecology. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press; 1994

Elsewhere on the site

RCOG guidelines
Clinical guidelines designed to inform practice in obstetrics and gynaecology
Patient information leaflets
Information for women, their friends and family about healthcare issues in obstetrics and gynaecology