Elective C-Section: Your choice or just what the doctor ordered

Posted June 24, 2016 from Pakistan
Elective C-section

On 13 May 2015 my sister eight years younger than me fell pregnant. It was a joyous occasion because she had undergone a miscarriage a few months back and this was her ticket to heaven. She checked herself into the top most Maternity Hospital of the city. The first five months were uneventful but as soon as she entered her sixth month disaster struck and her doctor sent her for her first Doppler Scan and the results as interpreted by her doctor was that she would have to go for a C-section after two more Doppler Scans. It was devastating news. She went for her second Doppler and the readings came up normal. When she went for her third scan the readings were raised. This pattern continued through the rest of the pregnancy. As I was all along accompanying my sister to her scans and checkups I started noticing that there were other patients who were also undergoing the same events as my sister. They were always there when she went for her scans and also for her checkups. It was mind boggling that four to five women were all undergoing the same medical symptoms and following the same cycle of Doctor-Doppler-Lab Tests. I started asking around in the waiting area. The majority of women who were there for their second or third pregnancy had all undergone a C-section the first time around "politely called Elective" as if the mother has opted for this procedure.

In spite of the Doctor-Doppler-Laboratory cycle we managed to reach the 37th week. But her doctor left for her own wedding holiday and left my sister with another doctor who decided that my sister won't be able to deliver the baby naturally because she did not know her pain threshold. She called my sister for a last scan and that she interpreted as that the baby was not getting enough blood to the brain. She decided a date for the C-section calling it elective as if my sister had elected to go for this procedure because there was no other option. We took her to see another specialist who said that the amount of stress and tension that my sister had undergone she won't be able to deliver naturally anyway.

The one thing this whole shenanigan of being the best medical facility was that it is a money making operation. 99% of all pregnancies end up in a caesarean there with multiple Doppler Scans lab tests and other scans being done. Everyone makes money up and down this medical chain where everyone is watching each other's back except for the poor patient who undergoes stress, is robbed of the most beautiful experience of her life the first time around i.e. natural birth and she has to undergo c-section whenever she expects again. This phenomenon is on the rise in Pakistan where gynaecologists are a mafia who extol the wonders of c-section. Granted that this is a medical procedure but has to be delegated to its need in emergency only. The emerging gynaecology students are taught about this procedure only because it pays more and seems as if the chapter on natural birth and its wonders is omitted from medical text.

It is a womans basic human right to be informed by her doctor towards the right information and not the other way round where the doctor is informed by his or her pocket.

This post was submitted in response to Putting the Spotlight on Maternal and Reproductive Health.

Comments 3

  • Olaoluwa Abagun
    Jun 30, 2016
    Jun 30, 2016

    Dear Zulekha,

    This is such a needful observation. As women, we have a right over our bodies and everything that happens to it. It is such a shame that many medical practitioners who are supposed to provide objective information to allow women CHOOSE what happens to them, have become subjective money chasers. Women have to be purposeful about seeking quality and objective medical advice.

    I do hope your sister and her baby are doing just fine. Keep speaking! Your voice will usher the change we crave.

  • leila Kigha
    Jul 07, 2016
    Jul 07, 2016

    Dear Zulekha,

    i totally agree with you , as women we have a right to make our choices and it is the doctors role to give us as much information as possible to enable us make good choices. 

    In cases of medical emergency it should be carried out but unfortunately like the example you gave of your country, there are people who look for quick money at the expense of others. i always say being a doctor is first of all a vocation before anything else!

    extend our love to your sister and her baby and keep speaking out!

    thank you for sharing with us. 


  • Stelz
    Jul 12, 2016
    Jul 12, 2016

    Dear Zulekha,

    What a shame of these malpractices but you know what you are doing just the right thing - speaking out we must do just that.

    Thank you for sharing  kindest love to your sister and baby.


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