Addressing Rising Caesarean Rates: Maternal Request Caesareans, Defensive Practice and the Power of Choice in Childbirth

Elizabeth Chloe Romanis

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Abstract

The number of caesarean sections performed in high-income economies has been rising for decades. In this paper I expand on feminist scholarship to argue that the likely explanation for this trend is defensive practice in obstetrics. I argue that the harm caused by defensive practice is that women are not being empowered to choose their childbirth. I demonstrate that this same harm is evident when women are denied the opportunity to opt for an elective caesarean. In this paper I seek to demonstrate how routinely offering women elective caesareans is the best solution to rising caesarean rates in high-income economies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics
Volume13
Issue number1
Early online date4 Mar 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2020

Keywords

  • Autonomy
  • Birth Ethics
  • Caesarean Section
  • Childbirth
  • Elective Caesareans

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