Forced cesareans

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Abstract

This review attempts primarily to provide guidance to physicians and others who may face the dilemma raised by a patient who refuses a recommended cesarean. This is, therefore, not a traditional literature review. The ethical-legal nature of the topic necessitates a different approach. Accordingly, this review briefly describes two recent cases in which courts have reversed orders to override a woman's refusal of consent, suggests different ways in which medical practice trends and emerging medical data may be implicated in forced cesarean cases, and then considers the implications of recent cases in the light of social-political factors.

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