Cesarean Delivery: A Medical-Legal Perspective

  • Jeffrey P. Phelan
Part of the Clinical Perspectives in Obstetrics and Gynecology book series (CPOG)


Since the NIH consensus conference on cesarean birth in 1980,1 the cesarean delivery rate has continued to rise.2,3 Today, cesarean delivery continues to be the number one hospital-based operative procedure in the United States. This rise has continued despite the increased availability of cesarean alternatives such as vaginal birth after cesarean4–6 and external cephalic version7–10.


Obstet Gynecol Cesarean Delivery Vaginal Birth Medical Malpractice External Cephalic Version 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Cesarean Childbirth Report of a Consensus Development. (DHHS publication no. 82–2076.) Conference sponsored by the National Institute of Child and Human Development, Washington, DC, 1980.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Taffell SM, Placek PJ, Liss T. Trends in the USA cesarean section rate and reasons for the 1980-1985 rise. Am J Public Health 1987;77(8):955–959.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Barr R. C-section under fire. OBG Management 1990;(October):18–25.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Phelan JP, Clark SL, Diaz F, et al. Vaginal birth after cesarean. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1987;157:1510–1516.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Phelan JP, Ahn MO, Diaz F, et al. Twice a cesarean, always a cesarean? Obstet Gynecol 1989;73:161-165.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Flamm BL, Newman LA, Thomas SJ, Fallonn D, Yashida MM. Vaginal birth after cesarean delivery: results of a 5-year multicenter col-laborative study. Obstet Gynecol Surv 1991; 46:360–365.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Phelan JP, Stine LE, Edwards NB, et al. The role of external cephalic version in the intra-partum management of the transverse lipresentation. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1985;151:724–726.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Dyson DC, Ferguson JE, Hensleigh P. Ante-partum external cephalic version under tocolysis. Obstet Gynecol 1986;67:63–67.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Morrison JC, Myatt RE, Martin JN, et al External cephalic version of the breech pre-sentatoin under tocolysis. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1986;154:900–905.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Stine LE, Phelan JP, Wallace RL, et al. Update on external cephalic versoin perormed at term. Obstet Gynecol 1985;65:642–646.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Jacobson PD. Medical malpractice and the tort system. JAMA 1989;262:3320–3327.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Swan JE. Your views on the crisis. Contemp Ob/Gyn 1989;33:13–24.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Harrison TF. The top ten jury awards of 1990. Lawyers Alert 1991;11:4–16.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Appelbaum PS, Lidz CW, Meisel A. The legal requirements for disclosure and consent: history and current status. In: Informed Consent: Legal Theory and Clinical Practice. New York: Oxford University Press, 1987:35–65.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Phelan JP. The maternal abdominal wall: a fortress against fetal health care? South Cal Law Rev 1991;65:461–490.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Appelbaum PS, Lidz CW, Meisel A. Informed Consent: Legal Theory and Clinical Practice.New York: Oxford University Press, 1987.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Cobbsv. Grant, 8 Cal 3d 229, 104 Cal Rptr 505, 502 P2d 1 (1972).Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Mohr v. Williams, 95 Minn 261, 104 NW 2d 523 (1905).Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Rainer v. CommunityMemorial Hosp, 18 CA 3d 240, 95 Cal Rptr 901 (1971).Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Book of Approved Jury Instructions. St. Paul: West, 1986.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Truman v. Thomas, 27 Cal 3d 285, 165 Cal Rptr 308, 611 P2d 902 (1980).Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Campbell v. Pitt County Hosp, 84 NC App 314, 352 SE 2d 902 (1987) [decertified in later decision].Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Moore v. Regents of California, 90 Daily Journal D.A.R. 8010 (1990).Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Olender JH. Obstetric negligence. Trial 1984;May:52.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Standards for Obstetric-Gynecologic Services, 7th Ed. Washington, DC: American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 1989: 33-39.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Perkins RP. Perspective on perinatal brain damage. Obstet Gynecol 1987;69:807.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Paul RH, Yonekura ML, Cantrell CJ, et al. Fetal injury prior to labor: does it happen? Am J Obstet Gynecol 1986;154:1187.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Adamson SK, Myers RE. Late decelerations and brain tolerance of the fetal monkey to asphyxia. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1977; 128:893.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Phelan JP, Ahn MO. Perinatal observations in 48 neurologically impaired term infants. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1994;171:424–431.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Niswander K. Asphyxia in the fetus and cerebral palsy. In: Pitkin RM, Zlatnik FJ, eds. 1983 Year Book of Obstetrics and Gynecology. Chicago: Year Book Medical, 1983:107–125.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Gee DR. Physician’s failure to perform timely cesarean. 19 POF 2d 285 (1979).Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Patriarco MS, Viechnicki BM, Hutchinson TA, et al. A study on intrauterine fetal re-suscitation with terbutaline. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1987;154:384.Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Strong TJ, Phelan JP. Amnioinfusion: an intrapartum technique for the’90’s. Contemp Ob/Gyn 1991;36(5):15–24.Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Gilstrap LC, Hankins GDV. The uncom-plicated patient. In: Phelan JP, Clark SL, eds. Cesarean Delivery. New York: Elsevier 1987:139–154.Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Renslow v. Mennonite Hosp, 67 111 2d 348,10 I11 Dec 484, 367 NE 2d 1250 (1977).Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Liability for child’s personal injuries or death resulting from tort committed against child’s mother before child was conceived. 91 ALR 3d 316 (1979).Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Jones JL. Malpractice: liability of physician, surgeon, anesthetist, or dentist for injury resulting from foreign object left in patient. 10 ALR 3d 9 (1966).Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Zitter JM. Medical malpractice: instruments breaking in course of surgery or treatment. 20 ALR 45th 1179 (1986).Google Scholar
  39. 39.
    Thoulon JM, Gonnet C. Les accidents de l’electrocardiographic foetale directe (a propos d’une de l’electrode de scalp). J Gyneco Obstet Biol Reprod 1978;7:1257.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Nieburg P, Gross SJ. Breakage of a fetal scalp blade with retention of fragments in the infant’s scalp. Am J Obstet Gynecol 1987;157:441.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeffrey P. Phelan

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations