The rise in C-section births continues to raise alarm bells among all those interested in preventing Illinois birth injuries. Our Chicago birth injury lawyers know that it can be a tricky issue, because there are times when the surgical birth is absolutely necessary to save the life of a child or mother. However, the fact that they are necessary some of the time does not at all mean that they are safer all of the time. The truth is that on the whole these surgical births are far riskier than natural childbirth, and they should not be undertaken when not necessary.
Yet, there seems to be a notion that cesarean section births are simply one choice that mothers can make without much effect on medical risks one way or another. As we reported last week, the shockingly high maternal mortality rate in the United States is likely caused in part by the rising use of C-section birth-upwards of 50% of all births in some locations.
Interestingly, a new study summarized in Top News found that doctors likely bear much of the blame for the rise in C-section use. Some had previously argued that the rise was likely due to mothers who wanted to avoid the pain of childbirth and instead go with the “easier” C-section option. But the results of a new study found that not to be the case. The research included analysis of the births for 22,000 women over a two year period. Researchers found that more than half of those who had cesarean section births did so because their doctors told them to, not because they preferred it to natural childbirth.
This raises a range of questions about what exactly is leading doctors to push for more C-section births.
Of course, any Chicago medical malpractice lawyer knows that the finger will first point to medical malpractice lawsuits. As is usually the case, some in the medical community try to tie any and all problems with the medical system back to groups not actually in the medical community-namely lawyers. Finger pointing is nothing new when it comes to certain industry’s shifting blame, but it particularly damaging here because lives are on the line.
Lawyers are not in the delivery rooms and have zero influence on what happens in any individual case. Instead, in each case lawyers are only involved the fact when a patient has been hurt because they received treatment below a reasonable level of care. That standard of care is based on what other prudent practitioners would do when faced with the similar circumstances. Obviously there are no rules that dictate whether or not one is immune from liability because they perform a c-section birth. Instead, the law is simply asks doctors to act in reasonable ways considering the information that is in front of them. Sometimes that might be to encourage a c-section, at other time it might not be. In most cases the decision will involve the weighing of the risks with the potential benefits. There is no inherent reason why this weighing of the factors should be skewed by the civil justice system and force doctors to make poor decisions when it comes to advising on c-section risks.
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