What do therapy dogs have to do with pregnancy care centers? Therapy dogs have proven to raise morale of long term hospital patients which in turn improves the patient’s overall health. But are their times when there are NO DOGs ALLOWED? If you don’t know your ethical standards anything goes and it will become increasingly more difficult to determine what should and should NOT be done when serving clients/patients. Without know your ethical standards and how they apply it is very easy for good intentions to degenerate into poor or unethical performance.
It is the same way with serving women facing unplanned pregnancy. There are things to do and things not to do. There are times to do them and times not to do them. This post is the third of a four part series of knowing your pregnancy center’s ethical standards of care.
To promote informed decision-making organizations should help to answer the 3 basic questions every woman needs to have answered in order to determine the outcome of her pregnancy:
A. Am I really pregnant? It is possible to not have a viable pregnancy and have a positive home pregnancy test.
- A woman needs a medically definitive diagnosis of pregnancy confirmation using ultrasound technology or blood tests.
B. How far along in the pregnancy am I? The further along in the pregnancy a woman is increases the complexity of her options.
- A woman needs an ultrasound scan to determine the exact gestational age of the baby. Gestational age determines the type of abortion procedure she would be eligible to receive.
- All abortion procedures are medical procedures. Therefore each abortion procedure has different costs and different risks associated with them.
- Gestational age is important to know in terms of providing medically accurate information about fetal development.
C. Is it important to know if I have a sexually transmitted disease (STD)? STDs can negatively impact future reproductive health if left untreated.
- Some STDs if left untreated prior to an abortion procedure increase the risk of infection which can put a woman’s reproductive health in jeopardy.
- Testing and treatment for the most common STDs, Gonorrhea and Chlamydia, is essential to prior to an abortion to safeguard a woman’s reproductive health.
To learn more about how to apply ethical standards through a linear service process that holds all staff and volunteers accountable to those standards go to www.compasscaretraining.org.
Update: See Part IV: Ethical Standards for Serving Abortion Minded Women.