A buzz was created when the news broke that Banner Hospitals in Phoenix, Arizona have set in place a policy banning elective cesareans and inductions before 39 weeks to take effect starting in mid-July of this year. The hospital made the decision based on evidence which showed that it is healthier for baby to be delivered no earlier than 39 weeks, absent clear medical necessity. The hospital will continue to perform medically necessary cesareans and inductions before 39 weeks.
As the news spread across the web, many discussions sprang up questioning whether this decision might start us down a slippery slope with regards to respecting women’s choices in childbirth. Many women expressed concern that the same reasoning–purported risk to the baby–might be used to uphold or promote VBAC bans in some hospitals. ICAN, in our Statement of Beliefs, states that it is unethical for a physician to recommend and/or perform a non-medically indicated cesarean. We also believe that VBAC bans are unenforceable and unethical. Evidence-based care should be at the forefront of decision making when it comes to women’s health, and it seems that Banner Hospitals agree, at least with regard to the timing of elective cesareans and inductions.
What do you think? Will this start us down a slippery slope?