Master's Project Title:

Cesarean Delivery on Maternal Request: Ethical and Public Health Implications

MCH Student:

Michelle Thorsness

Date of Defense:

December, 2013


The rate of cesarean deliveries has increased in the United States and the topic of cesarean delivery on maternal request, without medical indication, has gained interest. This literature review examines the reasons that patients and providers give in preference to cesarean deliveries, neonatal and maternal outcomes of elective cesarean deliveries compared to spontaneous vaginal births and the public health and ethical basis for and implications of providing cesarean deliveries on maternal request.  The body of literature comparing outcomes based on method of delivery is lacking; until further evidence exists in support of elective cesarean deliveries, the standard of practice should include preforming cesarean deliveries on maternal request only after a standard set of requirements are met.