A recent lawsuit filed by a woman accusing her doctor of forcing a C-section brings light to the fact that the U.S. performs more than three times the recommended rate of surgical births, according to The New York Times.

Although the patient in question wanted to give birth naturally, her doctor pressured her to have a C-section, even allegedly going so far as to tell her that she would be committing the equivalent of child abuse without one and that her baby would be taken away from her.

This lawsuit is part of the debate over the use of C-sections and the rights of pregnant women to control their own bodies. Nearly 33 percent of U.S. births – almost 1.3 million – were by cesarean section in 2012, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The World Health Organization recommends that the rate should not be higher than 10 to 15 percent.

The increase in the number of C-sections has been attributed to a rise in high-risk pregnancies; a desire by doctors and mothers to schedule their deliveries; and fears of malpractice lawsuits should the baby be injured during a normal delivery, which typically takes far longer than a cesarean.

“In my worldview, the right to refuse is uncircumscribed,” said Dr. Howard Minkoff, chairman of obstetrics at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn. “I don’t have a right to put a knife in your belly ever.” Read the full article here:

Mother Accuses Doctors of Forcing a C-Section and Files Suit

The issue of patient choice, particularly in a woman’s ability to choose her preferred method delivering her child, is a sensitive matter. While physicians must always consider what is medically best for a patient, they cannot force care upon someone.

If you or a family member believe you have a medical malpractice case, including lack of informed consent, contact Crandall & Pera Law today for a free case evaluation. Crandall & Pera Law is available to help answer your questions and guide you in determining your next steps.