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Cerebral palsy litigation after fifty years: A hoax on you

Thomas P. Sartwelle, James C Johnston, Berna Arda, Mehila Zebenigus

DOI: 10.20529/IJME.2020.093


Abstract

The worldwide cerebral palsy (CP) litigation crisis is predicated on the hoax that electronic foetal monitoring (EFM) predicts and prevents CP. There are decades of research disproving this hoax, yet EFM continues to be performed in the vast majority of labours in developed countries with resultant harm to mothers and babies alike through unnecessary caesarean sections with all of the attendant complications and ramifications of that procedure. This article reviews the history and evolution of EFM, explores the reasons for its misuse, discusses how obstetricians have abandoned their ethical mandate by failing to obtain informed consent for EFM, and proposes a realistic, practical solution that would effectively change the standard of care.

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