Women are not always informed about decisions made during labor

Informed Consent & Birth Injuries

Although it is incumbent upon doctors and hospitals to make sure they do not break the standard of care when treating their patients – of which the failure to do so resulting in injury constitutes medical malpractice – mothers can also take action to make sure their doctors do not deviate from their duties or go against their wishes as informed and consenting patients.

According to a study by Childbirth Connection, pregnant women don’t always understand that some of the decisions their doctors make when monitoring pregnancies and delivering babies may be harmful to them and their babies. When women are better informed about the risks of certain procedures, they can be more involved in the decision-making process and possibly prevent their doctors from making decisions that could cause unnecessary harm.

The Study

Researchers surveyed about 2,400 women who had recently given birth. The survey revealed that more than 40 percent of the women had given birth after being induced. Although there are certainly situations in which it is necessary to induce labor, unnecessarily inducing labor may lead to medication errors or other injuries.

The survey also revealed that most women who had to have an episiotomy performed were rarely asked about whether they agreed to the procedure. And many women who participated in the survey reported that they refrained from asking questions during labor and birth because they did not want to bother their healthcare providers.

Pregnant women have every right to ask their doctors questions. Mothers deserve to know any and all information about the consequences of undergoing certain procedures or using certain medications during labor, and they deserve to have a say in how doctors proceed with their treatment when they are worried about the health of themselves and their babies.

Source: ConsumerReports.org, “Pregnant? Watch out for unnecessary c-sections and other questionable medical procedures,” Joel Keehn, May 8, 2013

Birth Injuries + Hospital Negligence


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