The purpose and application of medicalization of pregnancy and childbirth

Such women are often particularly socially vulnerable and frequent targets of manipulation; they face multiple barriers to having their reproductive and sexual health needs recognized and met e. Many have argued that pregnant women as opposed to policy makers, fathers, industrial manufacturers, etc.

Nevertheless, there is now widespread legal and ethical agreement in light of the Carder case that pregnant women, as autonomous adults and full citizens, do not lose their constitutional rights to privacy and bodily integrity in light of their pregnancy Pollitt Some commentators, however, deny that things have gotten worse for people with disabilities since selective abortion of fetuses with impairments has gained popularity e.

George Schedlerhas argued that as a society we ought to force pregnant women who persistently abuse drugs to have abortions.

Has the medicalisation of childbirth gone too far?

Although many contributors to the disability rights critique of prenatal testing consider themselves firmly in favor of general abortion rights, they share at least a prima facie worry about the ethics of aborting fetuses on the basis of tests for future disability.

More broadly, as a social body, we have a strong collective interest in the health and welfare of our future community members, and hence reproductive risk is a matter of public concern. Other problems with increased routinization may also include affirmation of anti-disability bias and devaluation of disabled lives, particularly regarding Down Syndrome Kaposy Indeed, virtually all clinical research excludes pregnant women out of purported concern for teratogenic effects on fetuses, while even trials for interventions not classified as potentially teratogenic routinely exclude pregnant women Shields and Lyerly In light of our lack of knowledge of the teratogenic effects of most drugs, advice for pregnant women is generally conservative; women are advised to avoid medical interventions and medications during pregnancy if at all possible.

An epidural slows labor, making the mother three times likelier to be given an oxytocin drip, three times likelier for forceps delivery, doubles the chance for a caesarean delivery and gives a 50 percent less chance of a normal delivery.

For many, it seems possible to decide against bearing a child who has a property that in context will make that child more difficult to raise whether it is deafness, a chromosomal disorder, or fourth-childnesswithout devaluing all people with that property in any decontextualized way.

Ethical Issues in Obstetrical Care In this section, we examine ethical issues that can arise in the course of obstetrical care for women whose decisional autonomy and competence are not in question.

True team working is needed, with development of a shared philosophy of care and mutual respect. Such disagreements are perhaps better cast as maternal-physician conflicts than as maternal-fetal conflicts. More importantly, their systematic exclusion from clinical trials meant that we did not know how to design appropriate treatment plans for women, whose different hormones and reproductive system, longer life span, and other medically relevant differences meant that treating them as smallish men for the purposes of dosing drugs and other treatment decisions was not a medically sound strategy.

The medicalization of childbirth

But when the pregnant woman has diminished or no autonomy, the situation is murkier. Third, features of our cultural context can distort our perceptions of reproductive risk Drabble et al. However, in the case of pregnant women, this principle has been questioned and sometimes violated by force in the name of protecting the fetus.

As epidural analgesia has been shown in randomised trials to reduce the likelihood of a normal vaginal delivery this could contribute to the variation in normal delivery rates seen. It also cannot be assumed without careful attention to the evidence that access to obstetric care has invariably had beneficial effects.

Disabilities are historically specific and context-dependent Tremain Ultrasound screening for various morphological anomalies and the Maternal Serum Alpha-Fetoprotein Test MSAFP that screens for trisomy chromosomal disorders such as Down syndrome are routine parts of prenatal care; indeed, ultrasound screening does not even require formal informed consent from patients.

Furthermore, in eliminating a particular individual with some specific trait, we might be accidentally eliminating someone who has other traits that would have made her an exceptionally valuable member of society and contributor to the gene pool.

He argues that harm is minimized by simply eliminating fetuses at high risk for damage through maternal drug abuse. A few days later the fetus was delivered by cesarean, already dead.

One might argue that any use of prenatal testing for a condition followed by abortion expressively devalues that condition. Marsha Saxton, for instance, counters the purportedly feminist endorsement of prenatal testing that casts testing as a protective or even emancipatory tool for women.

I realized my background helped me in my journey as an expectant mother. They point out that they are not committed to viewing fetuses as persons.Medicalization. and making it an illness in need for medical attention and procedures.

which can potentially put more of everyday life under medical scrutiny. such as pregnancy and childbirth. Over the past fifty or so years, childbirth and pregnancy has undergone the process of medicalization, that is the expansion of medical jurisdiction into the realms of the other previously non-medically defined problems, a process which dearly serves the interests of medicine with its increasing focus on the indictors of disease rather than /5(3).

Bottom line, childbirth is not a medical procedure unless you let it become one. A well written birth plan will take all the questions and worries out of the medical decisions facing the newborn's parents during this blessed event.

1. Medicalization. Pregnancy and childbirth have become increasingly medicalized in most parts of the world since the early twentieth century.

Pregnancy, Birth, and Medicine

That is, they are increasingly processes that—in fact and as a social ideal—are managed and overseen by medical professionals, typically involve a high degree of technological medical intervention and.

The Medicalization of Pregnancy - A Chapter Excerpt from Natural Pregnancy Book by Lauren Feder, MD. Press Room. Kindred’s Top 15 Articles From !

The pregnancy and childbirth experience is considered one of the most coveted experiences in a woman’s life. The diverse and vital ways in which we embrace it has changed since. pregnancy and childbirth, in the conviction that we can overcome or control nature with the help of technology.

From that point of view, the 20th century was marked by drastic changes in childbirth practices and even the concept of pregnancy and childbirth in general, changes that were for the most part accepted by women.

The purpose and application of medicalization of pregnancy and childbirth
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