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Elective cesarean sections

Mary Hannah argues that a woman's request for elective cesarean section should be supported if she understands the potential risks and benefits.

This is a growing issue for physicians: an increasing number of women are requesting cesarean section delivery without having an accepted "medical indication." Hannah states this trend is due in part to the general perception that cesarean delivery is much safer now than in the past. Studies are currently underway to compare outcomes of vaginal birth and planned elective cesarean delivery.

Hannah argues that a simple comparison of these delivery methods is problematic, since most cesareans are carried out in emergencies or for high-risk pregnancies. Only a comparison of planned vaginal and planned cesarean births will determine which carries the greater risk to mother and baby.


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Contact: Dr. Mary Hannah
mary.hannah@sw.ca
Canadian Medical Association Journal
1-Mar-2004


Page: 1

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