Public Release: 

Doctors And Nurses Must Be Mindful Of Their Jargon


(Terminology for early pregnancy loss must be changed)

In a letter in this week's BMJ Hutchon and Cooper write that the distress of suffering a miscarriage may be exacerbated by the use of the word "abortion", which has connotations of "termination of pregnancy" for the lay public.

In their study of research papers in a number of several medical journals the authors found that medical literature still widely uses the term abortion to describe a spontaneous pregnancy loss. Hutchon and Cooper recognise that it is difficult for medical and nursing professionals to use two different languages: one for patients and another for medical notes. They believe that the word "miscarriage" should be used to describe all spontaneous pregnancy loss when speaking to patients and when completing medical notes. They think that medical journals should take the lead on this initiative.


Dr David Hutchon, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Department of Obs and Gynae, Memorial Hospital, Darlington, Durham


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