Bioethics and Birth
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- McGrath, P. & Phillips, E. Monash Bioethics Review (2009) 28: 27. doi:10.1007/BF03351315
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This article presents the findings of qualitative research which explored, from the mothers’ perspective, the process of decision-making about mode of delivery for a subsequent birth after a previous Caesarean Section. In contradiction to the clinical literature, the majority of mothers in this study were strongly of the opinion that a vaginal birth after caesarean (VBAC) posed a higher risk than an elective caesarean (EC). From the mothers’ perspective, risk discussions were primarily valuable for gaining support for their pre-determined choice, rather than obtaining information. The findings posit ethical concerns with regards to informed consent and professional obstetric practice at a time when there is a documented and worrying trend towards an increase in births by caesarean section (CS).