Displaying items by tag: medical

Management of Psychotropic Drugs During Pregnancy

PregnantPillsThe following article synopsis was provided by Julie Lynch McDonald PharmD, a member of Heartbeat International’s Medical Advisory Council. This may be helpful information for any client considering abortion due to the medications they are taking for psychiatric conditions.

Management of psychotropic drugs during pregnancy
BMJ (01/20/16) Chisolm, Margaret S.; Payne, Jennifer L.

Whether to maintain a woman's psychiatric drug regimen when she becomes pregnant is a delicate decision that must consider the benefits and risks to both mother and child. With little research exploring the safety of mood stabilizers and similar medications during pregnancy, the knee-jerk reaction for many years has been to suspend the prescriptions. A review of studies published between January 2000 and December 2014, however, reveals that most psychotropic drugs are relatively safe for use in expecting women. Moreover, the review authors conclude, any risk presented by continuing use of these medications during pregnancy is eclipsed by the risk associated with discontinuing them. A high proportion of women with conditions such as bipolar disorder and schizophrenia relapse if they stop taking their prescriptions during the gestation period. That, in turn, can lead to unfavorable outcomes, including suicide and infanticide.

Read more here.

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41 Quotes From Medical Textbooks Prove Human Life Begins at Conception

ConceptionWhat is your response when a client or person questioning you wants proof of your claim that life begins and is complete at conception?

Can you prove the validity from medical literature?

This compilation of 41 quotes from Medical Textbooks proving human life begins at conception is an invaluable citation list to use when asked for references, for utilization in your center to train staff, for addressing clients and for documentation.

Click here for the compiled list!

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Ultrasound CME Course for Your Medical Director

Recognizing the great service your Medical Directors give to your centers, Heartbeat International also wants to support them in their mission. Please pass on the information below about a great opportunity to your Medical Director.

The AIUM American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine is presentingaiumSiteLogo

Gynecologic and Early Obstetric Ultrasound---- Solving Problems With Imaging

Register today for Gynecologic and Early Obstetric Ultrasound---- Solving Problems With Imaging. This course is brimming with essential, illuminating sessions such as:

  • Why Should Ultrasound Be First for Imaging of the Female Pelvis? An Overview
  • Adnexal Masses: When to Call an Oncologic Surgeon
  • Procedures for Evaluating the Uterine Cavity and Tubes With Ultrasound
  • How and When to Do 3-Dimensional Ultrasound Examinations
  • The Many Faces of Endometriosis
  • The Pelvic Floor: How to Evaluate It and Findings

Join Course Chair Beryl Benacerraf, MD, FAIUM, AIUM president, and other esteemed faculty September 25-26, 2015, in Las Vegas, Nevada. This course offers up to 11 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ (accepted by the ARDMS) or ARRT Category A Credits. Learn more here.

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Heartbeat International Affiliates: Join AAPLOG at No Charge!

aaplogThanks to the forward-thinking generosity of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG), Heartbeat International affiliates can now access AAPLOG membership for the rest of 2015 at no cost.

The $75 value is free for Heartbeat International affiliates only, and it's just in time to take advantage of a printing discount for AAPLOG's new suite of brochures, which are geared to reach clients with information on pregnancy and the harmful effects of abortion.

Two members from each Heartbeat International affiliate can take advantage of the 2015 AAPLOG membership, which includes the following benefits:

  • Free listing in AAPLOG's public "Find a Physician" search
  • AAPLOG Membership certificate with annual renewal stickers, appropriate for framing and office display
  • Online CME credit for numerous important lectures
  • Speakers Bureau access, including PowerPoint presentations on various pro-life topics
  • Discounts on our Patient Educational Brochures
  • Free subscription to Issues in Law and Medicine
  • Email updates
  • Note: OB-GYNs who are members of AAPLOG are eligible to vote and serve on the AAPLOG Board of Directors.

To access your complimentary AAPLOG membership, click here and type "HEARTBEAT INTERNATIONAL" in the address field and select "Submit." Please do not submit payment if you are currently a Heartbeat International affiliate.

To find out more about ordering the brochures, including ordering free samples, click here. (Note: In order to keep your cost low, consider combining your order with a partner organization to take advantage of bulk pricing.)

See a sample of the flyers below:


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Is your Medical Director a Member of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists?

Board Certified. Professional. Pro-life.AAPLOG

If he or she is, thank them! If not, please pass on the following information to them. AAPLOG is a tremendous support and resource for pro-life physicians who often face difficult challenges and opposition in today's liberal medical environment and culture, providing research papers, articles and updates on current topics, educational opportunities, networking, legal defense of the unborn, and more. The following information is taken from the AAPLOG website. Heartbeat International Affiliates join for free!


Practicing in today's environment is incredibly challenging. We are with you. We exist to serve your need for accurate up to date information on prolife issues so that you will be able to answer with confidence the ethical challenges that you face on a daily basis. We provide a forum to network with likeminded colleagues from many different specialties. We are here to help make your job a little easier. Join us.

Our Mission is Clear:
You are not alone.

We are the largest organization of pro-life obstetricians and gynecologists in the world. We know what it is like to practice good medicine in a hostile academic environment. We understand the need for absolutely accurate and scientifically irrefutable information. We are committed to serving you.

We strive to provide you with a network of prolife physicians for mentoring and support and communication, and within that network to be able to mentor the next generation of pro-life physicians.

We want to make available to you the most accurate, up to date information on the effects of abortion on women, so that you will have an evidence-based response to the pressures to endorse abortion.

Check out our mission statement.

And Join us.

Evidence Based Education.

In the published medical literature, there is ample evidence of the effects of abortion on women. Abortion increases preterm birth in subsequent pregnancies, increases a woman's risk of suicide, substance abuse, major depression and all cause mortality, and increases a woman's risk of breast cancer if aborting a first pregnancy and delaying term pregnancy subsequently. Yet, many medical organizations are so politically invested in the abortion agenda that this information is not readily available to physicians or patients.

AAPLOG works to make available to physicians and patients the effects of abortion on women as evidenced in the peer-reviewed medical literature. The AAPLOG annual Matthew Bulfin Educational Meeting provides a forum for pro-life medical experts to discuss the latest and most important information on prolife topics, and has offered 8 credits of CME. These lectures are archived and available to members on the AAPLOG website.

Members can also avail themselves of prepared CME lectures on a variety of prolife topics, to equip members to be able to speak out professionally on a variety of topics including abortion complications, maternal mortality, abortion and preterm birth etc.

A Voice for the Silent

As Hippocratic Physicians, we are responsible to protect both the mother and her unborn child from fertilization until natural death. As Hippocratic Physicians we have a unique professional responsibility to publically speak for the weakest and most defenseless of the human race: the unborn child. AAPLOG takes that professional responsibility seriously.

As a non-profit educational organization, AAPLOG members participate in the public defense of human life from fertilization until natural death, by supplying accurate information from the peer-reviewed medical literature, especially in public forums where accurate information is often grossly lacking. AAPLOG is frequently called on by lawmakers and the media to give a professional pro-life perspective on current legislation, new research or breaking events.

A Defense for the Helpless.

The current laws in our nation do not defend the most helpless of human beings. AAPLOG works with many local, state and national legislators, legal organizations and policy makers in the United States who work to defend these tiniest of humans in law. AAPLOG members provide the professional pro-life expert opinions needed to defend these laws.

AAPLOG also networks with pro-life medical colleagues internationally to equip them to provide the evidence-based expert testimony required to defend human life.

A Message from Our Executive Director

Have you ever longed for colleagues who share a prolife worldview? You are not alone. We are pro-life ob-gyns and associates who are speaking out with a professional voice. And, we are making a difference. Come join us.
• Physicians and Para-Medical Persons
• Students & Residents
• Organizations
• Affiliates

Together we can effectively communicate the effects of abortion on women. We can communicate a professional second opinion which values life. And we can network together to bring that message to the medical, policy and pro-life community. Come join us.

Our Mission Statement

As members of AAPLOG we affirm:
1. That we, as physicians, are responsible for the care and well-being of both our pregnant woman patient and her unborn child.
2. That the unborn child is a human being from the time of fertilization.
3. That elective disruption/abortion of human life at any time from fertilization onward constitutes the willful destruction of an innocent human being, and that this procedure will have no place in our practice of the healing arts.
4. That we are committed to educate abortion-vulnerable patients, the general public, pregnancy center counselors, and our medical colleagues regarding the medical and psychological complications associated with induced abortion, as evidenced in the scientific literature.
5. That we are deeply concerned about the profound, adverse effects that elective abortion imposes, not just on the women, but also on the entire involved family, and on our society at large.

To learn more click here.
We invite you to Join us.

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Use of Hormonal Contraceptives Linked to Brain Cancer

by Susan Dammann, RN, LAS, Medical Specialisthormonal contraceptives

Does your center provide information about the possible side effects and risks of various birth control methods? If so, you may want to consider including the following information in your materials.

A Jan. 22 article published in Medscape News on January 22, 2015 discussed a study done in Denmark which found an association between hormonal contraceptives and an increased risk for glioma in younger women. The results were published in the print edition of the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. The reported risk increases with the duration of use, the study showed. "A nearly two-fold increased risk of glioma [a common type of primary brain tumor] was observed among long-term users of hormonal contraceptives."

The researchers highlight the fact that progesterone exposure was associated with the highest increased risk for glioma in their study. While the study had many strengths, its weaknesses are being identified, but are not expected to alter the results significantly.

"Oral contraceptives are known to influence the risk for certain cancers, but few studies have examined any link to central nervous system tumors", said David Gaist, MD, from Odense University Hospital and the University of South Denmark. He added that although the findings of this study must be interpreted with care, "We feel it is an important contribution and we hope that our findings will spark further research on the relationship between female hormonal agents and glioma risk."

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Called to Care

Looking for a great read?Called to Care

Check out Called to Care: A Christian Worldview for Nursing by Judith Allen Shelly and Arlene B. Miller

As one Amazon review states, "Bar none, this is the best work of its kind on the market."

There is much to learn in this excellent work, which starts by surveying nursing's historical roots as Christianity's response to caring for God's people. What do you know about the real Florence Nightingale? Deaconesses as some of the first nurses? How the ministry of nursing guidelines developed from the Christian faith?

After this fascinating look at nursing's historical roots in Christianity, the book examines how the practice of nursing has been experiencing challenges to bypass Christian roots by scientific and business models of care, as well as the current rise of alternative spiritualities among nursing leaders.

The authors have given us a great resource for re-examining the biblical basis of our commitment to serve the suffering and needy as nurses.

Publisher's Description

Nursing keeps changing. The role of the nurse grew out of a Christian understanding of the human person as created in the image of God, and viewed the body as a living unity and the "temple of the Holy Spirit" (1 Cor. 6:19). Contemporary nursing, however, is increasingly characterized by a diminished understanding of personhood. The impact on patient care has proven confusing and discouraging to many nurses. In the newly revised and expanded Called to Care: A Christian Worldview for Nursing, Judith Allen Shelly and Arlene B. Miller define nursing for today based on a historically and theologically grounded understanding of the nurse's call: Nursing is a ministry of compassionate care for the whole person, in response to God's grace toward a sinful world, which aims to foster optimum health (shalom) and bring comfort in suffering and death for anyone in need. Called to Care asserts that nursing is a vocation, giving nurses a framework for understanding their mission and living out their calling: service to God through caring for others.

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Introducing: Dr. Anthony Levatino

Honored member of Heartbeat International's Medical Advisory CouncilLevatino

A great man with an amazing testimony

Meet Dr. Anthony Levatino, honored member of Heartbeat International's Medical Advisory Council, who was featured in World Magazine January 22, 2015. The article details his journey from abortionist to pro-life advocate, including opening a pregnancy center and being medical director for two pregnancy center medical clinics. To read his full story click here. We are glad to recognize Dr. Levatino as part of our Medical Advisory Council.

Tweet this! Meet Dr. Anthony Levatino, honored member of Heartbeat International's Medical Advisory Council



On the left, Dr. Levatino is pictured giving testimony before a congressional subcommittee in support of a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks. To see his full testimony click here.


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What You Need to Know About the Dangers of Prenatal Tests

By Susan Dammann, RN, LAS, Medical Specialistprenatal testing

Reporting in Prenatal Tests: What Patients Should Know published in Medscape News and WebMD, Kathleen Doheny described a recent investigation revealing there are significant inaccuracies in non-invasive prenatal screening and that some women and doctors are misinterpreting the positive results from the new generation of prenatal tests including MaterniT21Plus, Verifi, Panorama and Harmony. In some instances, women are terminating their pregnancies because of it. This decision appears to be based on the screen alone without obtaining tests to confirm a negative diagnosis.

Beth Daley from the New England Center for Investigative Reporting in an excellent article Overused and Misunderstood stated "a three-month examination by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting has found that companies are overselling the accuracy of their tests and doing little to educate expecting parents or their doctors about the significant risks of false alarms."

"All claim to offer expectant parents the chance to know with almost 100% accuracy, and as early as 10 weeks into a pregnancy, the likelihood that the developing baby has any genetic abnormalities such as Down syndrome, Edwards syndrome (trisomy 18), Patau syndrome (trisomy 13), or a few other chromosomal anomalies" writes Nora Sullivan with the Charlotte Lozier Institute in her article Non-invasive Prenatal Screening Expands Disability Discrimination Abortion

Daley goes on to say: "A screen is a test given to a general healthy population and usually has high sensitivity so that any possible problems are flagged. Because of the high sensitivity, false positives are more common. Also, screens are not necessarily approved by the FDA. Because of a loophole from the 1970's, these types of screening tests are not subject to the same regulation as other medical devices or procedures. A screen is always supposed to be confirmed with a diagnostic test. A diagnostic test is designed with high specificity for a particular condition flagged by the screen. It is often more invasive and is meant as a tool to make a definitive diagnosis."

The problem appears to be not understanding a "statistical blip" in how the test results are reported or what is called "positive predictive value". What is critical for both health care providers and patients to understand is that the test is a "risk-based test" not a diagnostic test and a positive test result is only indicative that they have a higher risk of having that particular issue. The article reported that in the general population of women, a well-regarded study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that the test was correct for only about 40% of women who tested positive for Edwards syndrome (trisomy 18).

Daley said, "If companies are presenting these screens to be as good or better than a diagnostic test, doctors believe them and parents are aborting as a result, then the companies are seriously negligent."

Therefore if a patient comes into a pregnancy center considering abortion if/because test results come back positive, it is important to educate the patient that this test is only a screening for risk. A positive result is only an indication that their risk may be higher, but the test result could be wrong and a confirmatory test like a CVS (chorionic villus sampling) or an amniocentesis is needed to be sure. A patient should always get a confirmation with an FDA approved diagnostic test.

Aborting a child due to a genetic abnormality is disability discrimination. Prenatal tests should never be used for such purposes. When a disability is discovered rather than termination, options for the provision of treatment or hospice care should be offered.

Armed with the information above, we can help women who may be determined to abort due to a negative diagnosis to get further testing for verification. This will facilitate additional time to help them with alternative options should the diagnosis be positive.

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Diagnosing the Attempted NARAL Attack

by Susan Dammann, RN, LAS, Medical SpecialistDiagnosis

As we examine the symptoms exposed in the recent report unveiling the state chapter of NARAL Pro-Choice America colluding with Maryland government officials, a diagnosis becomes quite clear. This legal effort to shut down a local pro-life pregnancy care center, along with a seven-part plan developed by NARAL to shut down pregnancy help organizations across the country, reveal an infection with the intention to spread.

Miriam Webster defines diagnosis as"the act of identifying a disease, illness, or problem by examining someone or something."

First, there is definitely a primary source of infection, still seemingly localized, and the infection's focal point is limited to a small segment of the population. In 2010 when "Montgomery County passed an ordinance requiring Centro Tepeyac Silver Spring Women's Center and other pro-life pregnancy care clinics to post signs stating that they did not have doctors on staff," the outbreak was cured by three court decisions against the ordinance.

"Judge Deborah Chasanow, a Clinton appointee, noted that the people who accused the centers of spreading 'misinformation' were 'universally volunteers from a pro-choice organization sent to investigate practices' at the centers."

[Read Heartbeat President Peggy Hartshorn’s Op-Ed at LifeSiteNews.com here.]

When we learn of such outbreaks it is common to wonder if this will erupt into an epidemic or pandemic. Then we wonder how we can immunize ourselves from being attacked by the same germs.

The very best way to inoculate ourselves is to do just as they have already given us credit for doing!

The County responded to NARAL with the following statement: "I doubt my colleagues or the County Attorney will be interested in pursuing a truth-in-advertising statute...[these centers] are clearly very artful at devising strategies to avoid violating the law." Strategies to avoid violating the law simply put, means we obey the law and they recognize it. Your best immunization plan is to keep up your mission and the excellence with which you always work. You can always take your organization's vital signs by checking up on our Commitment of Care and Competence.

It would be a misdiagnosis if we thought we could treat these germs by pregnancy help organizations hiring doctors and nurses, putting in state of the art equipment and following all the best practices so that they will approve of us and stop the attacks. We have done just that and they are still manipulating women with lies and misleading information.

True choice and excellent healthcare for women are not their goal. The accurate diagnosis is that the abortion industry has a goal of permanently eliminating pregnancy centers because we are undermining their bottom line of profit.

Keep in mind that we do not live in a sterile environment and that germs abound. We can expect that by making inroads to bring health and wholeness into our world, there may be attacks. This is to be expected, but not feared. God even tells us in His Word that we may suffer for the sake of righteousness, but we are blessed.

"But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled." 1 Peter 3:14 NASB

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