Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Canadian Woman's Right to Choose Delivery Method: Is a Legal Precedent Needed?

In Canada, in 2012, a woman who wants to "choose Caesarean", absent any medical indication for one, as her mode of delivery, has little reason to believe that her informed choice to do so will be respected and many reasons to believe that she will be subjected to a trial of labour and potentially a vaginal birth that she does not want.

This is why, I am planning on an elective caesarean at term in the US for my next delivery: I have no reason to fully trust that my informed choice in Canada would be respected.

Don't get me wrong, there are women in Canada who do manage to secure an elective c-section, without medical indication - but it is a bit of a roll of the dice. There is nothing here to assure a woman that she has a "right" to that choice. There is no legal precedent and the Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC) are not supportive.

Absent a legal precedent, or a change in policy from the SOGC or being blessed with a medical indication such as "breech" - my next baby will very likely be born on American soil. For the record I think a legal precedent is possible (there IS a charter argument to be had), I also think a change in SOGC guidelines is possible - I just think neither are likely before the arrival of the next baby W.

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