Thursday, 3 November 2016

What people are missing - HSE v Mother B

There has been a lot of commentary in the last 24 hours in regards to the HSE v Mother B case questioning the decision VBAC3; Why would a woman question medical advice and take this case to the High Court.

What people are missing - it's not about the choice, or if you would make it for yourself. It's about supporting a woman's right to weigh risks for and against each care option and make the best decisions for her in her current circumstances taking on board her medical history. Informed choice. A cornerstone of medical ethics.

The unit in question refused to engage with this woman and instead decided threatening her & taking her to court was the best option. And they were backed by our National Health Service under Constitutional personhood law.

 The foetus, like many other cases, had its own legal representation against it's mother.

If we want to make it about "risk", if discussing the 3% chance of uterine rupture, we must discuss all the risks and that it's up to the woman to weigh them out. There are real and substantial risks in repeat Caesarean; most severe maternal morbidities in Ireland (the near misses) are involving repeat Caesarean section. There are no absolutes in maternity care, it's about balancing risk and making the decision you feel safest in *at that moment * with scope to revisit the issue if medical indication arises. As in this case. The woman requested a Caesarean when she no longer felt vbac was a safe option.

Women are not stupid. Women do not take risks. They make good decisions for themselves and their baby. They need to be supported, not violated and threatened.



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