OBJECTIVE: The study’s main goal is to figure out whether episiotomy, a widely applied invasive procedure, may constitute a determining factor of liability for practitioners according to the standards of obstetric violence.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: The authors have aimed to analyze laws and documentation issued on the matter by sovereign states, statements and remarks from International health organizations, in addition to scientific article available on the main search engines (PubMed, Scopus, Google Scholar) and legal databases (Lexis, Justia).
RESULTS: The body of research has highlighted the existence of a wide-ranging agreement as to routine episiotomy, deemed to be a scientifically unfounded procedure, and which should, therefore, be avoided. By virtue of that, routine episiotomy might easily give rise to charges and liability for doctors and midwives alike; likewise to claims may stem from a failure to perform an episiotomy when it was actually needed.
CONCLUSIONS: Unlike routine episiotomy, selective episiotomy is far more unlikely to cause charges of obstetric violence against operators. Unfortunately, the criteria in order to establish when a selective episiotomy is indicated are far from consistent and would require an additional effort on the part of scientific societies towards a more clearly defined and shared description.Free PDF Download
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To cite this article
S. Zaami, M. Stark, R. Beck, A. Malvasi, E. Marinelli
Does episiotomy always equate violence in obstetrics? Routine and selective episiotomy in obstetric practice and legal questions
Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci
Vol. 23 - N. 5