Saturday, December 26, 2009

Patient Choice Cesareans & Physician Ethics

One of the oaths Doctors take when they become Doctors is do no harm. Now this can be interpenetrated in a number of different ways and I understand that many may not agree with my interpretation of this oath and subject in general.

We see a small portion of women today choosing elective cesarean sections, whether they be elective primary, better known as first time cesarean sections, or repeat cesarean sections with no medical indication in subsequent pregnancies after already having one cesarean section. Though the estimated number of elective primary cesarean sections is estimated to take up only 2% of the current 31.8% cesarean section number, that is still a large portion of women that are choosing a potentially harmful major surgery for no medical reason. In turn the Physicians that are caving in to these patient request cesareans are clearly not living up to do no harm.

Not only is there the possibility major and dangerous complications when major surgery is being performed for no medical reason, but delivering a baby via cesarean section poses possible complications to subsequent pregnancies.

We see the increased risk of hysterectomy, placenta acretta which is where the placenta grows into the wall of the uterus which could be potentially life threatening, increased infertility, and the list goes on.
But are these women making the choice for surgery with no medical need being fully counseled and educated on all the risks that their choice could present to themselves, and also their baby?

If these women were being given full disclosure of this procedure it would be highly unlikely they would just sign up. No mother wants to willingly put their child at risk for anything that could possibly hurt them in any way.

So are these Doctors really following their code of ethics?

Or are they just following the money trail?

Makes you think doesn't it?


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