Postmortem and Perimortem Cesarean Section: Historical, Religious and Ethical Considerations
Keywords:Postmortem Cesarean Section, Perimortem Cesarean Section, Islamic medical ethics, History of Medicine
Guillimeau was the first to use the term Cesarean Section (CS) in 1598 but this name became universal only in the twentieth century. The many theories of the origin of this name will be discussed.
This surgery has been reported to be performed in all cultures and from ancient times. In the past it was mainly done to deliver a live baby from a dead mother hence the name Post Mortem CS (PMCS). Many heroes are reported to have been delivered this way.
There have been references to abdominal delivery in old Jewish sacred books. It was especially encouraged and often mandated in Catholicism. There is evidence that the operation was done in Muslim countries in the Middle Ages. Islamic rulings support the performance of PMCS.
Now that most maternal deaths occur in the hospital, perimortem CS (PRMCS) is recommended for the delivery of the pregnant woman with cardiac arrest after 24 weeks. It is believed that emergent delivery within four minutes of initiation of cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) improves the chances of success of maternal resuscitation and survival and increases the chance of delivering a neurologically intact neonate.
It is agreed that physicians are not to be held legally liable for the performance of PMCS and PCS regardless of the outcome. The ethical aspects of these operations are also discussed including a discussion about PMCS for the delivery of women who have been declared brain dead.DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5915/43-3-7099
LicenseAuthors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).