What they mean by "good science': The medical community's response to boutique fetal ultrasounds

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4 Scopus citations


Since 1994, when the first fetal imaging boutique appeared in Texas, many sites have been established around the country for parents to receive nonmedical fetal imaging using three- and four-dimensional ultrasound machines. These businesses boast the benefits they offer to parental-fetal bonding, but the medical community objects to the use of ultrasound machines for nonmedical purposes. In this article, I present the statements released by the medical community, highlighting the alarmist strategies used to paint boutique ultrasounds as bad science and elevate the medical use of ultrasounds. Through a close reading of the statements, it is shown that the medical community's primary concern is not the health of the fetus or the woman but rather their place as the sole users of fetal ultrasounds. This detailed analysis reveals a medical community fearful that its authority is being usurped and is therefore responding with statements meant to denigrate boutique fetal ultrasounds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)528-544
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Medicine and Philosophy
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2009
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Philosophy


  • American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine
  • Fetal ultrasound
  • Keepsake/boutique ultrasound


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