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« Economic Woes Lead to Cuts in Alternative Treatments | Poll: How Many Maternal Request C-Section Moms Do You Know? »

C-Sections in the News and Maternal Request Poll Results

A Sydney urogynecologist studied 9,000 births and found that women have a greater chance of losing a baby from the complications of a cesarean than getting incontinence problems.


The woman in this Poughkeepsie Journal article, Kristi Ashley, endured malpractice for which there is no recourse… yet. She was told her baby would weigh 12 lbs., 10 oz. and she agreed to surgery. Her baby actually weighed 9 lbs., 4 oz. at birth. There is no difference between this wrong diagnosis and any other that results in a patient undergoing unnecessary major surgery, except that unnecessary c-sections are viewed as playing it safe.


The results of the highly scientific (!) poll asking how many women people personally know who requested a c-section with no medical indication are:


63% (24 votes)—Zero

26% (10 votes)—One

3% (1 vote)—Two

8% (3 votes)—3 to 5

0%— More than five


Like many of you, it’s hard for me to discuss true maternal request c-sections without knowing many women who have requested them. It’s definitely not a non-issue because for the handful of women who want one, it matters. The elective cesarean rhetorical debate has been blown way out of proportion in obstetrics and by the media when compared to dismissive medical attitude toward reversing VBAC bans and sparing women (like Kristi Ashley, above) from unnecessary cesareans.


Mom’s Tinfoil Hat had a pro-maternal request cesarean visitor come by to discuss the issue. Rixa (from Stand and Deliver) asked her readers for their thoughts on the ethics of refusing to perform a c-section at a woman’s request.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts and participating in the poll.


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Reader Comments (1)


I once knew a woman who wanted an elective hysterectomy. There was absolutely NO medical indication for this, she just thought never having a period again would be convenient. Her doctor refused to do it, and her insurance refused to pay for it. What do you think about that? How does it compare with people who want limbs amputated for no reason? Or someone who wanted their spleen or one kidney removed?

September 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMichelle
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