March of Dimes Honors Scholar in Perinatal Bioethics

Todd Dezen, (914) 997-4608, tdezen@marchofdimes.com
Elizabeth Lynch, (914) 997-4286, elynch@marchofdimes.com

SAN DIEGO, CA, OCT. 22, 2010 — Examining the ethical issues of involving pregnant women in research trials is the focus of the work of the 2010 March of Dimes Young Scholar Award in Perinatal Bioethics recipient.

The March of Dimes will honor Anna R. Brandon, PhD, MS, for her work at the annual American Society for Bioethics and Humanities Oct. 22 at the Hilton San Diego Bayfront here.

Dr. Brandon, who received her doctorate in clinical psychology master’s in clinical science at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, is working to improve research guidelines so women will have access to appropriate care during their pregnancies.

Dr. Brandon was recognized for her paper: Ethical Barriers to Perinatal Mental Health Research and Evidence Based Treatment: An Empirical Study. She examined the challenges researchers face when they attempt to study mental health illness in pregnant women. Without such research, pregnant women may lack access to beneficial medication and evidence -based treatment.

"Pregnant women need to be included and involved in medical research because they need to know the real outcomes of taking medicine and how it will affect their child before and after birth," said Dr. Brandon.

Alan R. Fleischman, MD, March of Dimes medical director, will present the award.

"Pregnant women often are not included in research trials because of the fear of the consequences to the unborn baby," said Dr. Fleischman. "Dr. Brandon’s research creates an ethical framework for involving pregnant women so we can gather the data needed to develop pregnancy-specific guidelines for prescribing medications, giving women access to safe and effective treatment during pregnancy and improving the health of mothers and babies."

The March of Dimes is the leading nonprofit organization for pregnancy and baby health. With chapters nationwide, the March of Dimes works to improve the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality. For the latest resources and information, visit marchofdimes.com or nacersano.org.

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