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Ethics in midwifery

Midwives magazine: June/July 2010

Professional ethics in midwifery practice by Illysa R Foster and Jon Lasser
Jones and Bartlett Publishers
ISBN: 9780763768805

Reviewed by Nicola Winson

Professional practice book
This is an interesting book. It is written and published in the US, which might suggest to a British audience that it is not relevant, but that would be a mistake. It is grounded in the international code of ethics and the UK code of conduct for midwives.

Each chapter presents a different ethic for consideration. For example, chapter five discusses informed choice versus informed consent. In each chapter, there are several case studies, which are analysed. One can easily identify with the midwife and wonder how one would react.

There is a pleasing depth to the analyses that would make the book relevant to a degree programme. Other chapters consider privacy, confidentiality, code of practice, relationships, scope of practice, competence, diversity, equity, justice, values and decision-making.

In Texas, the mother interviews several midwives before hiring one. If I were interviewed by mothers before being ‘hired’, I might be much more vocal in advocating my practice and the research underpinning it.

Have you read this book? What did you think?