ABORTION - A practical guide for doctors

By Charles Schlebaum MD. MNGvA & Joeri van den Bergh MD. PhD. MNGvA.

with parts written by Eugene Glick, M.D.,M.P.H.


This book is meant for doctors who wish to terminate pregnancies. It is a practical guide, based on more than forty years experience. The methods which have proven to be the most reliable and least dangerous are described in detail. Practically all problems which can be encountered are discussed. All possible complications are reviewed so that in most cases they can be prevented, or treated if they should arise. Also, safe methods of local and general anaesthesia are described.

In the early seventies, like several other doctors the author Charles Schlebaum started doing abortions in his surgery in den Haag, the Netherlands. So great was the demand that his private practice gradually turned into the largest abortion clinic in the Netherlands, with six doctors and thirty staff members working in three shifts, treating sometimes over a hundred patients per day. Some 75% of all women were foreigners, because in all countries except the UK abortion was illegal. Later these numbers declined because more clinics arose in the Netherlands, and gradually the attitude in other European countries allowed doctors to do abortions.

Co-author Dr Joeri van den Bergh, who worked as a general practitioner in Castricum, became involved with abortion in 1970 starting up the third abortion clinic in the Netherlands in Beverwijk . He strongly believes that all women should have access to safe, effective, affordable and acceptable means of fertility regulation. He was the first doctor performing second trimester VTOP's in the Netherlands, and the first using prostaglandines in 1973. In 1976 His Clinic took part in a multicentered WHO prostaglandin investigation.

After years of political squabbles and a number of fruitless lawsuits against Abortion Clinics the Abortion Law was passed in 1981. By that time the Abortion Service in the Netherlands was well established so that the law was a mere formality.

The example of the Netherlands shows that the action of a group of doctors can build up a safe and reliable Abortion Service, which will speed up the political process to legalise abortion in those countries still lacking these facilities.

In 1998 we came in contact with Eugene Glick M.D.,P.P.H, an American gynaecologist from Reno Nevada, who devoted the last 20 years of active practice primarily to providing abortion services in Reno. His monography "Surgical Abortion" written in 1998, gives a marvellous overview of how abortions should be carried out, based on the insights from someone who was there from the start. We quickly became aware that we needed Gene to fill up the many holes in our Practical Guide, especially as we miss the know-how of the in some ways more complicated American rules, partially caused by the more defensive type of medicine practised at the other side of the Atlantic. Genes tips about patient selection, charting, special considerations and precautions are unique. We were therefore very happy that Gene allowed us to include parts of his monograph into our work. Where we used it, you will find his name above the chapter.

This book is written in the language of international science: bad English . Nevertheless we apologise for severe mistakes.

Reactions, criticism, remarks and inquiries are gladly invited and necessary to keep this work up to date.

last update spring 2010

ISAD's e-mail address : isad@xs4all.nl

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Worldwide Copyright byJoeri van den Bergh, MD, PhD, MNGvA