Following decades of maltreatment of women in obstetric care, professional respect for maternal autonomy in obstetric decision making and care have become codified in global and national professional ethical guidelines. Yet, using the example of birth after cesarean, identifiable threats to maternal autonomy in obstetrics continue. This paper focuses on how current scientific knowledge and obstetric practice patterns factor into restricted maternal autonomy as evidenced in three representative maternal accounts obtained prior and subsequent to birth after cesarean. Short- and long-term remedies to improve the current state of restricted maternal autonomy in clinical practice surrounding decision making on birth after cesarean are provided.
Keywords Applied Philosophy  Philosophy of Science  Social Science
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ISBN(s) 1091-8264
DOI 10.5840/techne20121611
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