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Supreme Court ruling in the case of Montgomery versus Lanarkshire Health Board

Cathy Warwick, RCM chief executive
24 March, 2015

Supreme Court ruling in the case of Montgomery versus Lanarkshire Health Board

There has been a very important Supreme Court ruling in the case of Montgomery versus Lanarkshire Health Board.

The judge, Lady Hale, makes very important statements about a woman’s autonomy in childbirth and her right to make informed decisions. There is much talk about the implications for practice.

So far the best commentary I have read is from Elizabeth Prochowska. This can be read on the Birthrights website. Her blog highlights the importance of individualising the process of informed consent and ensuring that each woman understand the risks that are material to her own situation. For me the implications of this ruling underline once more that if we are to provide high quality care it is fundamental that we have adequate resources to enable time to be spent with each individual woman. We also need to ensure that all midwives have access to ongoing training and development.

Finally we really must ensure more women receive continuity of carer which I believe would make all the complex conversations we need to have with women about choices so much easier.

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