Too Many C-Sections?

A picture of a laughing, blond two-year-old hangs on one wall of the office of Claudio Giorlandino, president of Italy's National Commission on Maternity and Birth. The boy, a twin, was delivered at 29 weeks by C-section — without which the child would almost certainly have died. Says Giorlandino: "We 'bring to life' with C-sections a large number of fetuses that, in natural terms, would never have survived to birth." That's why Giorlandino, like many in the medical establishment, feels that the World Health Organization (WHO) guideline of a maximum 15% C-section rate is far too low. To minimize situations in...

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