Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Celebrating the Updated NICE Guidelines in the UK

I am thrilled that in the new NICE guidelines in the UK, women will be given the right to request an elective c-section for the delivery of their child. This is a hard fought victory for many women that has come after years of hard work.

It's a huge step forward because it recognizes that patient autonomy matters. That the right of women to decide how they birth their child matters. It signals that women and their health matters and that access to healthcare should not be limited because the patient is a woman and the condition is pregnancy. It says informed choice matters, and part of informed choice is being aware of the risks of 'natural' childbirth and being able to choose which risks to accept. Further, it signals that health care should be about quality care, and not just cheap care.

I'm particularly proud of the work done by Pauline McDonough-Hull in making the recent guidelines a reality. She has worked tirelessly on this issue for many years, and now something real to show for it. She is an inspiration.

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