Can doctors force a woman to have a cesarean birth?

A spotlight was placed on this issue after a woman recently filed a medical malpractice lawsuit against a New York hospital and its doctors, claiming the doctors performed a c-section despite her clear refusal.

With cesarean birth rates on the rise, many soon-to-be mothers are lobbying for natural births. Throughout their pregnancies, these women are making their wishes known, but when the time comes, doctors are quick to encourage c-sections – some say because they fear the lawsuits that can arise from complications of natural childbirth.

According to Cleveland Clinic’s Patients’ Bill of Rights, women in Ohio have an absolute right to knowledgeably refuse any care, treatment, and services, including cesarean birth.

The Clinic also states that, while patients may refuse treatment, they have a responsibility to “follow instructions and advice, understanding they must accept the consequences of refusal.”

There are risks associated with both natural childbirth and cesarean birth. As such, women should have the right to choose which set of risks they are willing to accept. While it is a doctor’s responsibility to keep in mind the best interests of both mother and child, it is the mother who has the right to choose. Therefore, doctors must provide pregnant women with as much information as possible, so they are able to make an informed decision.

A doctor cannot perform any procedure, c-section included, without the patient’s informed consent.

One in three births in the United States are c-sections. It has been reported up to 45 percent of those cesarean births may be unnecessary, and these unnecessary procedures have been linked to increased maternal mortality rates in the US.

When a woman’s life and her unborn baby’s life is at stake, there is no question she has the right to make decisions about her care. If you or a loved one was harmed during an unnecessary cesarean birth, you have to call me right away 1 (877) 944-4373. I can help you get the compensation you deserve.

As your Ohio birth injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

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Cesarean Births: Can doctors force a woman to have a c-section?
Did you suffer an injury as a result of a C-Section delivery? Could your injury have resulted from physician malpractice or a mistake made my your physician? Often times, injuries resulting from a C-Section could have been avoided, if the doctor had just waited and not rushed into surgery. If your doctor was guilty of physician malpractice, I’ll Make Them Pay!®
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