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ss triple helix - summer 2008,  Abortion - The Patient's and the Doctor's Dilemma (Book Review)

Abortion - The Patient's and the Doctor's Dilemma (Book Review)

Roxana Chapman - Barham Press 2007 - £9.95 Pb 195pp - ISBN 9780955188114

Dr Chapman has many years' experience as a gynaecologist in Russia, Australia and Britain. In this book, she uses a narrative approach to explore the issue of abortion.

A series of vignettes from Dr Chapman's practice lay out the various situations faced by some women, and also the dilemmas faced by their doctors. The different reasons for requesting abortion or for continuing a pregnancy are explored; the influence of culture, religion and social factors is also discussed. She looks at pregnancy after rape, fetal abnormality, sex selection and selective reduction for multiple IVF pregnancy. There are several stories about women suffering the sequelae of abortion, including psychological distress and infertility.

This book is rather piecemeal. The many chapters each address slightly different issues but a clear sense of direction is often lacking. A number of typographical errors also distract the reader. This is neither a handbook on unplanned pregnancy consultation nor a systematic review of abortion. It is though a vivid illustration of abortion's many facets, focusing on the personal as well as the medical. As such, it cannot fail to make an impact.

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