I was rather taken aback when I first read the question referring to
choices. What got me was the line, "To what extent should...."
[Editor's note: The question was, To what extent should women and
their families have choice in pregnancy, birth and postpartum? What
does choice mean to you?]
How can we decide for ourselves what women should have a choice about
and what they should not? Is it morally acceptable to withhold
information because we do not deem it necessary they know? As well,
is it morally acceptable to tell women about a procedure and then not
allow them to have an option to accept or not?
Even with the staunchest homebirthers, reason most often prevails
when presented with a true emergency. With people who, on the other
hand, are in the hospital and are you-do-it-for-me types of birthers,
education is the key, so there should be no question about "allowing"
Choice to me means having complete knowledge about something, and
then being able to make an educated decision regarding the impact of
going with or not going with the suggested course. Choice is the
right of every person on this earth. If we take away the possibility
of choosing in a situation, then we are controlling that situation,
and no matter what our governments or societal laws dictate, it is
completely and morally unacceptable for a person to prevent another
person from making a choice that pertains to their own body,
be it in birth or death.
Reprinted from Midwifery Today E-News (Vol 2 Issue 22 June 2, 2000)
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