20 February 2009

Elective caesars on the way out in the UK

It is no secret that caesarean rates are rising rapidly in the western world (currently 23% in Britain). In a bold move, the NHS (UK) has barred women from routinely having elective caesars because they are too expensive and strain the national health care budget. In Greater Manchester, elective caesars are being limited to women that can demonstrate specific health problems.

Some obstetricians, however, are firmly against the move. Dr Christoph Lees, an obstetrician and gynaecologist at Addenbrooke’s hospital in Cambridge, said: “I strongly disagree with this prescriptive condition setting. Sometimes well-informed women, often older and very unlikely to have further children, do request caesarean sections and it is unreasonable to refuse if they are fully informed.

I'm not sure how I feel about this. Although the rates of caesareans are ridiculously out of control at present, is it productive to limit women's choices even further? Sure, I would never choose to have a caesarean unless medically necessary but what's right for me isn't necessarily the right choice for everyone else.

What do we think? Is this something that should be implemented in the US, Canada and Australia?

Source: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/health/article5734096.ece


Cherryskin said...

In my opinion, unless there is a medical reason to have a caesarean (i.e. the woman's or baby's health would be compromised without one -- and usually it's quite the opposite), the woman/couple should have to pay for it. Like elective plastic surgery.

Olivia said...

I don't have a problem limiting elective surgeries. This should make women and doctors reconsider the risks and necessity of cesarians.

Anonymous said...

I have had one emergency c-section and one elective one (due to my fear of UR.) I don't think the c-section rate is all that high considering levels of obesity, maternal age, twinning, ect. Many factors come together to create this high rate. Also, the old forceps route I'm sure is more dangerous than c-section-maybe not for death, but for baby brain damage.

As for truly elective "convenience" c-sections. I would hate to spend the extra taxpayer money there when it can be utilized in so many other places, especially when medically and uncomplicated vaginal birth is a lot safer. It is after all a medical procedure. Maybe offer additional medical insurance that would pay for such a thing?

3d ultrasounds said...

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