Cover image for The baby doctors : probing the limits of fetal medicine
The baby doctors : probing the limits of fetal medicine
Kolata, Gina Bari, 1948-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Delacorte Press, 1990.
Physical Description:
213 pages ; 22 cm
Subject Term:
Format :


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RG600 .K65 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Reviews 3

Booklist Review

This is the story of the self-styled "fetal invaders"--developers of fetal medicine and surgery--and the medical, social, and political ramifications of their experimental and clinical efforts. Using ultrasound, injections, and surgical procedures within and outside of the uterus, they have repaired diaphragmatic hernias and blockages of urine and have made fetal reduction (or "selective termination" of an unhealthy member of a multiple pregnancy) a usable and scientifically acceptable procedure. As knowledge of the genetic components of growth and disease increases, it seems fetal intervention will become more frequent and more productive. Kolata has interviewed many physicians and parents and reports their approaches, attitudes, anxieties, failures, and successes in accessible, human terms. The concluding chapter excitingly forecasts developments of the near and distant future. --William Beatty

Publisher's Weekly Review

In this engrossing, edifying account, New York Times science reporter Kolata reviews advances by daring pioneers in one of modern medicine's most delicate areas. Tests of blood and urine, amniocentesis and sonogram techniques, etc., help detect genetic and other fetal abnormalities, some of which can be corrected by medication or fetal surgery. Several cases of such surgery performed through the uterus, successfully and unsuccessfully, are described here in arresting detail. Even more controversial and posing agonizing decisions for parents is the practice of ``selective reduction,'' ie., abortion of certain fetuses, defective or not, in multiple pregnancies--in one case, the termination of eight to assure the survival of twins. First serial to Parenting. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Kolata, a science reporter for the New York Times, gives an overview of a new subspecialty in medicine: fetal surgery for the correction of birth defects and fetus-threatening physical conditions before birth. She also discusss the development of diagnostic techniques such as chorionic villus sampling (CVS) and ``fetal reduction,'' in which one or more of the fetuses in a multiple pregnancy are selectively aborted, with the hope of helping the remaining fetus survive until birth. Kolata focuses on a half-dozen trailblazers in the field who jocularly call themselves ``The Fetal Invaders'' and who test the limits of contemporary medicine, inventing and refining procedures for which ethical questions loom large. What is most apparent is that demand for early diagnosis of fetal defects and the surgery to correct them is strong and will continue to be so. This book, while rather casually written and often overly personality-oriented and melodramatic, gives a good layperson's view of this important subject. Highly recommended for all public library medical collections.-- Mark L. Shelton, Columbus, Ohio (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.