C-sections continue to stir controversy after one mom's ordeal

Some people may assume that pregnancy-related injuries are largely a thing of the past. Fortunately, delivery room procedures continue to progress every year, and, as a result, giving birth is now largely a joyful event. In Texas and the rest of the country, though, pregnancy-related injuries are not entirely extinct and when they do occur, the results can be severely traumatic.

During the summer of 2011, one mother experienced an ordeal few could imagine. According to the woman, who was pregnant with her third child, her physician ordered her to have a C-section against her will. The woman claims she chose the State Island University Hospital precisely because it had low rates of cesarean sections. Already having had two of them, the woman wanted to avoid the procedure a third time. She alleges her doctor, though, would not allow her to refuse the procedure and even told her he didn't have the time for her to give birth another way.

While the account seems outrageous, it gets even worse. The mother, who has since sued her former doctor and the hospital, experienced a perforated bladder during the C-section surgery. Interestingly, the hospital's director of maternal and fetal medicine took notes that documented the woman's clear desire to avoid a C-section. In the notes, the physician's decision to override the mother's desire is also clearly documented.

Sadly, other instances of forced C-sections are not unheard of. In one notorious case from the 1980s, a woman who had a cancer diagnosis while pregnant also wanted to avoid a C-section, hoping to live long enough to give birth and hold her baby. She was ordered by administrators at her hospital to undergo a C-section, however, and both the child and the mother died shortly thereafter.

The rate of C-sections in the United States is just under 33 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control. This may not seem shocking until one considers that the recommended rate, per the World Health Organization, is 15 percent. The risks associated with C-sections include infection and loss of blood, as well as damage to the bladder and other organs. Critics of the high C-section rate in the U.S. theorize doctors could be trying to save themselves time, make more money and avoid certain lawsuits.

Delivery room negligence can take many different forms. A forced or highly-pressured C-section may illustrate a doctor's lack of care for a patient or his or her having priorities higher than the patient's well-being. In any case, the pregnancy-related injuries that result from such incidents can entail huge costs for the victim. Getting these damages compensated is often a very complicated process requiring the help of an experienced malpractice attorney.