Medicine: Hidden Pregnancy

Because the risks of certain medications and diagnostic procedures are not fully understood, doctors are especially cautious when treating pregnant women, frequently altering prescriptions or deferring them altogether until after delivery. In the first month or two, however, some women are unaware that they have conceived. That ignorance can be costly, both to the fetus, which may be damaged by drugs or X rays, and to the physician or hospital, which may later be sued for malpractice. To avoid such problems, some doctors now recommend that all women of child-bearing age be tested routinely for pregnancy in a doctor's office or...

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