After an introductory chapter giving basic information about the different types of medical studies, how to evaluate them, and some basic statistical concepts, Goer provides chapters on cesarean issues, pregnancy and labor management, and a review of alternative approaches. Each chapter begins with a stated myth, followed by an examination of the reality. Goer then analyzes the mainstream belief, pointing out its fallacies. Then comes a list of significant points gleaned from the studies and keyed to her abstracts. Next is the outline by which the abstracts are grouped. Finally come the numbered abstracts of relevant articles published, in most cases, after 1980. The book concludes with a glossary of medical terms and an index. This compact, accurate, and understandable reference tool is designed for people without medical training as well as care givers.
The work opens with a framework for examining rights and, in chapter 2, gives an in-depth description of knowledge about the impact of maternal actions on fetal development. Attention then turns to current trends in case law, as Chapter 3 traces the growing acceptance of causes of legal action for prenatal injury or death of the fetus. Chapter 4 extends this analysis to look at the changing legal context for defining standards of care for pregnant women. Chapter 5 examines three disparate but critical topics illustrating the pressures women face in the 1990s: workplace hazards, teenage pregnancy, and surrogate motherhood. The final chapter integrates the technological, legal, social, and political dimensions surrounding the maternal-fetal relationship into a context for creating an effective public policy.