Thursday, September 22, 2016

Hermine Hayes-Klein speaks about informed consent at Cedars-Sinai

I urge that you watch this brilliant presentation about informed consent in obstetrics by human rights attorney Hermine Hayes-Klein. She delivered it at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles. One of her many astute observations:
The right of informed consent is only tested as a right when the patient resists. And of course all those yeses don't mean anything unless that 1 in 100 patient also has the right to say no. There is no yes unless you also have the right to say no.
Also don't miss the comment at the end by Maternal Fetal Medicine specialist Emiliano Chavira (a lovely, gentle, caring person I had the honor of meeting at the Amsterdam Breech Conference this summer).

Take the time to watch the whole presentation. Share with your physician/midwife/nurse colleagues. Share with pregnant women and their families.

All the things I care deeply about--midwifery, home birth, physiological birth, vaginal breech birth, VBAC, cesarean rates--boil down to a fundamental human rights issue: does a woman have the ability to choose what happens to her, to her body, to her baby, when she is pregnant and when she is giving birth? Is she being manipulated, coerced, or forced into something she does not want? Are her providers supportive and understanding and respectful of her autonomy, even in the face of their own fears and assessments? Is the pregnant woman being given accurate and appropriate information, or only being told information that will skew her towards a certain action?

Informed consent is THE fundamental issue in maternity care. I also think that it holds the potential to be the driving force that will solve these issues.

Hermine ends her presentation with the phrase Fiat iustitia ruat cælum--"Let justice be done though the heavens fall."

May we shake the heavens and uproot anything that prevents women from being--to borrow a phrase from Hermine's presentations--the captains of their own ships.

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