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DON’T MISUSE MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY

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Hurrah to Dr. Greggory R. DeVore and the American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine for their position on "Fetal Foto." It astounds me that anyone, especially a medical doctor, would misuse such equipment for entertainment and capital.

Utah's families are already largely misled in overusing medical technology and practices they may be better off without when it comes to pregnancy and birth. Utah is a national leader in the overuse of Caesarean section birth, forceps delivery, induced labor and the administration of drugs during labor and delivery. Few of us balk when our obstetrician pressures us into tests and procedures without any medical indication for their need. So it doesn't really surprise me that there has been so little public outcry on this issue.After all, ultrasound hasn't been proven potentially dangerous to mother or baby as many of the above procedures have. And in fact, it hasn't even been proven useful in preventing developmental, pregnancy or delivery problems. Infant mortality has not declined as a result of this fabulous technology.

Ultrasound is a relatively new procedure. Only time will tell just how safe - or dangerous - it is. I for one am not willing to let my unborn child be a laboratory rat.

The "Fetal Foto" debate reminds me of when a friend of my mother's died of cancer of the foot. When the friend was diagnosed with cancer, my mother couldn't help but be reminded of when she was a girl. Back in those days, shoe stores had little X-ray machines for patrons and neighbors to use to X-ray their feet. After all, it was a perfectly safe medical procedure. Right? Mom remembers going to the neighborhood shoe store on many occasions to partake just for the fun of it. It wasn't until years later that we found out just how dangerous X-ray exposure can be.

Of course there are those who will say, "Well those shoe clerks shouldn't have allowed that kind of misuse of those machines." But isn't it equally reckless to allow and even encourage patrons of "Fetal Foto" unlimited opportunities to see their precious, vulnerable, unborn babies?

Suzanne Vincent

Salt Lake City