Do Malpractice Threats, Real or Imagined, Lead to More C-Sections?

Doctors’ fears of medical malpractice lawsuits have led to an increasing number of unnecessary repeat cesarean sections. Even where vaginal birth is possibly safer option, obstetricians increasingly choose the surgical procedure as a legally safe alternative. One major concern underlying the increase in cesarean sections is the obvious infringement on the rights of the mother.

A report from the National Institute of Health shows that obstetricians face more medical malpractice lawsuits and carry higher insurance premiums than nearly every other medical specialty, with the exception of neurosurgeons. This is likely the causal factor underlying the increased incidence of cesarean section procedures. Although cesarean sections may provide a safer legal alternative to vaginal birth, there is no indication that the cesarean section procedure itself is medically safer for the mother’s health in all circumstances.

Furthermore, studies also show that defaulting to a cesarean section procedure in lieu of nonsurgical, vaginal birth procedure does not necessarily ensure that the doctors are protected. KevinMD reports that the rising number of cesarean sections over vaginal birthing methods does not correlate with the rising number of malpractice law suits. Furthermore, increased media attention on this trend has had the reverse effect of leading to malpractice lawsuits disputing an obstetricians’ choice not to perform a vaginal birth where a cesarean section was not medically necessary.

If you or someone you know has suffered an injury resulting from a cesarean section, do not hesitate to contact the attorneys at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz & Stogner by calling (713) 222-7211 or toll free at 713-222-7211.