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Fetal Death


Fetal death, or stillbirth, means death of the product of conception before complete expulsion or extraction from its mother. Death is indicated by the absence of all signs of life, such as beating of the heart or pulsation of the umbilical cord. The term is statistically defined differently in various jurisdictions, but generally alludes to death after either twenty or twenty-eight weeks gestation. Death of the fetus before this duration of pregnancy is referred to as miscarriage.

John M. Last

(see also: Fecundity and Fertility; Pregnancy; Reproduction )

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