Ethical Issues in Childbirth
Laslie, Adele E.
Journal of Medicine and Philosophy. 1982 May; 7(2): 179-195.
The obstetrical practices and hospital settings which are typical of American childbirth today give rise to a number of ethical issues. These issues include excessive and possibly harmful medical intervention spurred by an emphasis on new biomedical technologies, and the assignment of pregnant women to a passive role regardless of their values and wishes. The various ways in which hospital policies and physician attitudes and techniques limit women's choices and detract from maternal-infant care are discussed. Suggestions are made for changes in the roles of patients, hospital staff, and obstetrical practitioners, and for offering alternatives to standard medical management of childbirth. (KIE abstract)