One of many legal, ethical, and patient safety issues raised by the COVID-19 pandemic across the NHS is that expectant mothers are considering freebirthing more after home births are cancelled.
The charity AIMS (Association for Improvements in the Maternity Services) states that while there is no specific definition of freebirthing, “…broadly speaking, a woman freebirths when she intentionally gives birth to her baby without a midwife or doctor present. Some women prefer to use the term ‘unassisted childbirth’ or UC to describe this.”
This may carry major health risks. For example, if complications occur during a freebirth, professional clinical help will not be at hand to help.
John Tingle explores this further in his blog for the Bill of Health. John Tingle is a regular contributor to the Bill of Health blog and is a Lecturer in Law at Birmingham Law School in the UK and a Visiting Professor of Law, Loyola University Chicago, School of Law.