Originally Posted by Storm Bride
I'm aware of the risks. I'd still have opted for a general anesthetic. At least that way, if I did survive, I wouldn't be plagued with nightmares. That's okay, though - the anesthetist has a clean conscience, and we all know that the mom's quality of life after the baby arrives doesn't even factor in.
And, caling it my "dislike" of a spinal is dismissive, inaccurate and somewhat condescending. It's not "dislike" - it's sheer, unmitigated terror. I find c-sections absolutely terrifying and the spinal is equally terrifying, if not more so. The fact that anesthetists call the shots in OR is just one more thing to hate about the whole process. (The last one managed to make it even worse by unexpectedly clamping an oxygen mask to my face.)
The thing is - I'm not concerned about whether the anesthetist hates to put me under...I'm concerned about whether I hate being put under - or hate being punctured. (They also didn't seem too concerned with putting me under general because I was on the verge of delivering a frank breech...and screaming "no". Funny how much concern about general anesthesia and pregnant women was being shown that day.)
I see all the time how unethical it is for doctor's to agree to do medically unnecessary c-sections just because mom wants one for whatever reason. I see it said that this should be illegal, doctors who agree to do it should lose their license, etc etc etc. I see where medical decisions during childbirth should be strictly based on NEED, as in ONLY do a section when it is MEDICALLY NECESSARY, because it's what's best, safest, unnecessary procedures cost more money, etc etc etc. Do you agree with this sentiment? That a woman should NOT be allowed the luxury of 'choosing' a medically unnecessary c-section for whatever reasons she may have?
If you know anything about my beliefs surrounding childbirth, the bottom line for ME personally is that YOU, the mother, should be able to call the shots regarding which risks YOU feel most comfortable with. That belief doesn't go over so well here sometimes, and I'm ok with that.
If YOU are ok with the increased risk of death for yourself by *choosing* to have a medically *unnecessary* general anesthetic used instead of the safer alternative, AND you are willing to sign a consent form releasing whomever puts you to sleep of any and all responsibility for your choice, then I can see you choosing a general if it's that big of a deal to you.
You know the risks. You accept the risks. It really should be up to you if you feel like the increased risk of complications and death are 'worth it' for whatever reason you may have. I *do* believe the anesthesia provider in question should have some sort of protection from lawsuit should YOUR choice result in less than a positive outcome (of course they should still be responsible if they are incompetent, just not responsible if one of the known risks of GA actually affects you since it was your choice to begin with).
I also wonder if this would be one of those cases where people felt like you should be responsible for the additional costs associated with general anesthesia since it is clearly not medically necessary, it would be strictly for maternal preference. I see that argument for elective c-sections, you know....'fine, have a section if you want, but you can pay for it too' type thinking. I personally disagree with that sentiment, but it seems it would fit here as well.
Your argument sounds a lot like what I went through for a medically 'unnecessary' c-section with my first pg. We went round and round, with me insisting that I completely understood the risks associated with my choice, and while I certainly expected them to do a competent job during surgery, I also understood that sometimes things happen during a section that simply cannot be controlled (i.e. I could hemmorhage and need a hysterectomy).
Now, if they'd gone in there just hacking me to pieces and were clearly incompetent, you better believe I'd have sued them. But if I ended up with any of the myriad of complications that are KNOWN to be associated with c-section, well...that was my choice, and I accepted full responsibility for that choice.
If you felt the same way about the increased risk of GA with no real medical necessity, I would think ultimately it should be up to you to take on those risks.
I will say you'll have a hard time finding an anesthetist to agree with you, much like I found it *very* difficult to find an OB who agreed with me. And it sucked. I won in the end, but it was after a very long, very bitter, very distressing fight. A fight that was worth it, one that I'd fight again in a heartbeat, but distressing nonetheless.