A recent American court case has struck a considerable victory for the right of patients to refuse medical treatment if they wish to.
Up until recently, in 86 per cent of cases, doctors insisting on caesarean deliveries, despite the wishes of the woman, clearly prevailed in the courts. That precedent has been recently overturned in a case involving a terminally ill patient, who did not clearly give her consent for a caesarean section. After the baby and the woman died, the American Civil Liberties Union brought her case to court. The court then declared that "in virtually all cases, the question of what is to be done is to be decided by the pregnant woman on behalf of herself and her foetus." This decision, in effect, gives the mother or her guardians full rights over her birth even over the rights of her child.