Informed consent in obstetrics – a survey of pregnant women to set a new standard for consent in emergency obstetric interventions

Informed consent in obstetrics – a survey of pregnant women to set a new standard for consent in emergency obstetric interventions
Original Article
Tracey E. Sturgeon, Huma Ayaz, Kirsty McCrorie, Kate Stewart
Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, 10 June 2020
Abstract
Informed consent is necessary for all medical, surgical and obstetric interventions. Whilst informed consent can be obtained for elective procedures, it is much more challenging to obtain for emergency interventions. It can be difficult for women to understand the need for emergency intervention when pregnancy has been low risk. This can lead to problems with psychological trauma from the delivery being foremost in their minds in the postnatal period and in future pregnancies. The Montgomery ruling of 2015 encouraged informing women about risks and benefits of interventions and letting the women take responsibility for their own decision-making. Here, a patient-focused survey collected information on pregnant women’s knowledge and wishes regarding emergency interventions. The responses were analysed in relation to local and Scottish national delivery data. We have initiated a novel programme to ensure all of our pregnant women are empowered to give informed consent for emergency interventions.

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