Protecting human rights in childbirth

Council of Europe passes motion on obstetric and gynaecological violence

We welcome the motion passed earlier this month by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe calling on all member states (including the UK) to address obstetric and gynaecological violence . The motion includes ensuring maternity care respects human rights, appropriate training for staff, passing legislation on informed consent (where not in place already), and having accessible complaints mechanisms in place.

Whilst the UK is in a better position than many other Council of Europe member states, there is no room for complacency, and we particularly welcome the Assembly’s call to ensure that the “training of doctors, midwives and nurses attaches particular importance to the relationship between care providers and patients, the concept of informed consent, equality between women and men, the reception of LGBTI persons, persons with disabilities and vulnerable persons, communication, the prevention of sexism and violence and the promotion of a humane approach to care”

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