A large body of scientific evidence supports the safety of anesthesia for the fetus and pregnancy. No anesthetic drug (excepting possibly cocaine) is a human teratogen. All females of childbearing age have a right to be offered pregnancy testing; upon being informed of the scientific facts relevant to pre-anesthesia pregnancy testing, they have the right to consent to or refuse testing (ASA Handbook on Ethics: An Educational Resource for Anesthesiology Practice. 2018:210-22; Anesthesiology 2012;116:522-38; asamonitor.pub/3xdD6tm; Anesth Analg 2009;108:1715-6). For this article, “adolescent” means after the age of menarche, but before the age of legal majority in the relevant jurisdiction.

Pre-anesthesia pregnancy testing in adolescents poses challenges caused by the interaction among accepted ethical principles, the complexities of human development, behavior and biology, and also unclear and conflicting legal statutes (ASA Handbook on Ethics:...

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