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Science Rocks

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Should women be given the right of requesting a caesarean section?

What do you think?

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    Dec 3 2011: I would assume that women have the right to request a caesarian but a doctor should be able to decide what is medically the best in extremis.
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      Dec 8 2011: Debra, you identified two of the three participants in any medical deliberation. Insurance providers will not allow women to choose an unnecessary surgical procedure if a cheaper procedure is medically appropriate.
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    Dec 3 2011: I think they should be allowed to request whatever they want, but there are significant downsides to making it purely elective - it's very expensive compared to vaginal delivery, it's a higher risk and more invasive procedure, post-delivery hospitalization is longer, and the baby generally does worse (see here http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20978440). By worse, we're talking higher mortality, more respiratory complications, longer hospital stays, more NICU admissions, etc. Elective sections also run the risk of delivering a baby prematurely (dates are often wrong, and dating by ultrasound is inaccurate if done later in the pregnancy), which is likely a major contributor to the above-mentioned bad outcomes.

    There may be some good reasons for offering elective c-sections, but often the reason (at least in the US) is simply that the woman does not want the pain/difficulty/inconvenience of natural labor. The real question is, then, should society foot the bill for that?
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    Dec 3 2011: Of course. Of have breast implants or whatever...
    provided they're adults.

    Religion should be illegal on minors.
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      Dec 5 2011: lol you cant make religion illegal, not in america. good point though