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J Med Ethics. 2013 Jan;39(1):27-30. doi: 10.1136/medethics-2012-100675. Epub 2012 Oct 12.

The Ulysses contract in obstetrics: a woman's choices before and during labour.

Author information

1
Alden March Bioethics Institute, Albany Medical College, Albany, NY 12208, USA. BurcheP@mail.amc.edu

Abstract

Women recognise that labour represents a mind-altering event that may affect their ability to make and communicate decisions and choices. For this reason, birth plans and other pre-labour directives can represent a form of Ulysses contract: an attempt to make binding choices before the sometimes overwhelming circumstances of labour. These choices need to be respected during labour, but despite the reduced decisional and communicative capacity of a labouring woman, her choices, when clear, should supersede decisions made before labour.

PMID:
23065492
DOI:
10.1136/medethics-2012-100675
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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