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Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders: Ethical and Legal Perspectives

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Publication Date: August 27, 2018
Review Date: May 2019
CME End Date: December 31, 2024
Price: Free
Credit: 2 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditsTM

Of all the substances of abuse (including cocaine, heroin, and marijuana), alcohol produces by far the most serious neurobehavioral effects in the fetus. Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Ethical and Legal Perspectives is a free eModule for clinicians about fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs). FASDs is an umbrella term describing the range of effects that can occur in an individual who is exposed to alcohol during the nine-month prenatal period before birth. These effects may include many types of disabilities that are physical, mental, behavioral, learning, or any combination of these, with possible lifelong implications.

By the end of this activity, participants will be able to:
  • Explain an overview of fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASDs)
  • Describe an overview of medical ethics
  • Explore the complex history and legality of drinking during pregnancy
  • Address the application of ethical principles to FASD prevention efforts
This unit will guide you in legal considerations, provide tips for how to speak with patients, review principles of medical ethics, and provide resources such as committee opinions and reimbursement codes.

Target Audience

Obstetrician-gynecologists, primary care physicians, nurses

Estimated Time to Complete

2 hours

Faculty and Planner Disclosure

All authors, contributors, reviewers, and staff have submitted a Conflict of Interest disclosure statement, and any potential conflicts have been considered and managed in accordance with ACOG’s Conflict of Interest Disclosure Policy. This policy, along with ACOG’s Privacy Policy, can be found on

Mishka Terplan, MD, MPH discloses the following relationship: Consultant, National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare

Tricia Wright, MD discloses the following relationship: Royalties, Cambridge University Press, "Opioid Use Disorders in Pregnancy"

The following faculty and planning committee members report no relevant financial relationships: Carl Anthony Dunn, MD; Tara Nicole Banaszek Daming, MD; Elizabeth Bartlet, MD; Samuel Thomas Bauer, MD; David J. Garry, DO; Karen Harris, MD, MPH; Elizabeth E. Krans, MD, MSc; Maria Manriquez, MD; Vanessa Parisi, DO, MS, MPH; Scott M. Petersen, MD, FACOG; Jacquelyn J. Starer, MD; Erin Tracy, MD, MPH; Yasuko Yamamura, MD; Anne Arnold, MSEd, MA; Tonya McFadden, MS, MSA; Lily Penney, MPH

How to Earn Credit

Participants who wish to earn AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM must complete all sections of the course including the evaluation. The passing score for the assessment is 80%, with the option to retake.


ACCME Accreditation

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists designates this enduring material for a maximum of 2 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

College Cognate Credit(s)

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists designates this enduring material for a maximum of 2 Category 1 College Cognate Credits. The College has a reciprocity agreement with the AMA that allows AMA PRA Category 1 Credit to be equivalent to College Cognate Credits.