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Therapeutic non-disclosure of adverse health information to an obstetric patient: Case report

O.P. Adudu, O.G. Adudu


The non-disclosure of foetal exomphalos discovered on intra-uterine ultrasound to the mother and anaesthesiologist in this case report, was based on the obstetricians’ assumption that it will reduce maternal stress in the antenatal period. There was mis-information that all was well in the
antenatal period in spite of maternal informed consent. However, it led to maternal stress and dissatisfaction with the physician. The patient was referred to the psychiatrist for management of her stressful encounter in the postoperative period. Ethical and medico-legal issues raised by
therapeutic non disclosure of health information to the patient beforehand was addressed and physician knowledge updated by a review of current literature on the subject.

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