Several health boards in Scotland have decided that telling pregnant women the sex of their unborn baby is a legal liability risk they don’t want to take.
Fearing that there may be legal action taking against them if they get it wrong, several hospitals in Scotland are starting a trend in which they do not reveal gender of prospective parents’ babies during ultrasound scans, despite a parents’ plea to know.
Additionally, some health boards fear that a parent hearing a boy instead of girl, or vice versa, may lead them to terminate the pregnancy because that’s not the gender they wanted. The four health boards currently not revealing gender are Grampian, Forth Valley, Orkney and Shetland.
While the decision to withhold the gender is essentially based on liability, according to the boards, parents complain that finding out what they’re having is a very important part of the bonding and preparing process when it comes to having a child.
The health boards are all of course in favor of scans to detect abnormality or issue, but say that even if they are confident in their gender prediction, they’ll not reveal gender for parents because they do not want to face legal action if they happen to be wrong.
In an article in The Sunday Post, a Scottish midwife said that the health boards were right to be concerned about litigation, and even the mental health and well-being of both mama and baby as some pregnancies were no longer cared for if a mama was told she was having a gender she’d hoped would be different. Additionally, midwives cite the inaccurate gender reveal as disappointing and costly for parents when the professionals are incorrect.
Additionally, research is mixed about even having ultrasounds to reveal gender alone. While the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says there’s currently no reliable evidence that says ultrasounds harm an unborn baby, it’s possible that issues could be identified in the future, and because of that, they recommend ultrasound only be performed for medical reasons, and by healthcare providers; not that girl in the mall with a cute picture frame waiting once she tells you what you’re having.
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