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“Any colour as long as it is rose-tinted’’: the meaning of informed choice when women don’t have access to evidence based care provision

by Soo Downe, BA(Hons), RM, MSc, PhD, OBE
  • Duration: 60 Mins
  • Credits: 1 CERP, 1 E-CERP, 0.1 Midwifery CEU
  • Handout: Yes
As Henry Ford famously said to customers wanting to buy the first Ford cars: ‘you can have any colour as long as it is black’. Informed choice is a mantra for health care in many countries. In theory, it is commonly assumed to be the optimal ethical and moral approach in maternity care, where most women are healthy, and where they are autonomous adults. However, the term ‘giving informed choice’ is problematic. This presentation will examine each of the three words in this phrase (‘giving’; ‘information’; and ‘choice’) to unpack the meaning and implications of each. It will then discuss whether the notion of informed choice can truly benefit women and babies when, in many countries, the choices are limited, or only between alternatives that are not evidence based and that might even be harmful . The presentation will conclude with possible solutions and ways forward in relation to this issue.
Learning Objectives:

Objective 1: Analyse the components of ‘giving informed choice’ Objective 2: Describe the implications of this in the context of services that are not evidence based Objective 3: Find ways of addressing this disconnect in their own local practice