This article is only available in the PDF format. Download the PDF to view the article, as well as its associated figures and tables.
In its report on legal interventions during pregnancy, the Board of Trustees concluded that physicians should not seek to override a pregnant woman's refusal of treatment unless three criteria are satisfied: (1) the treatment poses an insignificant—or no— health risk to the woman; (2) the treatment entails no more than a minimal invasion of the woman's bodily integrity; and (3) the treatment would clearly prevent substantial and irreversible harm to the fetus. Cesarean section entails more than a minimal invasion of the woman's bodily integrity.Although Chervenak and McCullough present a compelling scenario for intervention, there are important reasons why the board disagrees. Individuals have a fundamental interest in controlling invasions of their bodily integrity. Thus, while courts allow minor intrusions, like vaccinations or blood tests, and a few women have been required to undergo cesarean sections, courts have not required anyone other than a pregnant woman to
Grandon RC, Orentlicher D, Halkola KA. Legal Intervention During Pregnancy-Reply. JAMA. 1991;265(15):1953. doi:10.1001/jama.1991.03460150057022