• anomaly;
  • lethal;
  • multidisciplinary care;
  • perinatal hospice;
  • individualised care

Key content

  • Congenital anomalies are the number one cause of infant mortality in the developed world. Antenatal diagnosis of lethal fetal abnormality is likely to have a profound psychological impact.
  • The multidisciplinary team should aim to meet the medical, emotional and spiritual needs of the family, through appropriate referral in the latter aspect.

Learning objectives

  • To consider the psychological impact of an antenatal diagnosis of lethal fetal abnormality.
  • To review the principles of informing parents about the diagnosis.
  • To provide a framework for the management of a pregnancy involving a lethal fetal anomaly.
  • To increase the awareness of the emotional and spiritual needs of the family.

Ethical issues

  • The dilemma of psychological impact of carrying a pregnancy with a lethal fetal anomaly for a mother and a family.
  • The issues around care including feeding the liveborn baby with an anomaly.