One of the responses to a 2015 review titled "Time to consider the risks of caesarean delivery for long term child health" infuriated me.

Michael Harrop

Active member
Jul 6, 2023
The full response:
The author of the response:
Paul T-Y Ayuk
Consultant obstetrician
Newcastle-upon-Tyne Hospitals NHS Trust

The idea that knowledge about chronic disease risk could affect decision-making in non-essential caesarean is fanciful. As an obstetrician, I would rather deliver 1,000 healthy babies who develop asthma and diabetes in later life than deal with 1 intra-partum stillbirth. As a parent, I would rather have 1,000 children with a chronic illness than 1 dead baby.

Furthermore, there is no such thing as a non-essential caesarean section. When a woman decides that she wants a caesarean section, the procedure becomes essential.
Firstly, it seems he's arguing against informed consent, and seems like he's saying that his personal preferences are what matter. His position seems to be one of selfishness and emotion, despite his job requiring him to be logical and objective. He seems completely unqualified for his position, and I find it quite alarming that such a person could make it into that position.

Secondly, I find his position (1 dead baby vs 1000 with chronic disease) to be horribly unethical, and that kind of thinking seems to come from an anti-abortion mindset where there is no recognition of cognitive capacity, particularly for suffering. A fetus and even a newborn don't yet have the intelligence of a dog. And intelligence seems to roughly (not the case for pigs) be the factor by which we decide what life forms are ok to kill or not.

He's advocating for inflicting severe suffering on thousands of fully developed humans with extensive capabilities to experience suffering, all to avoid his personal emotional reaction to the death of a single infant that has a much more limited capacity to experience suffering.

I find these attitudes to be far more ethical since they are appreciative of that difference:
"When baby John Bollinger was born with various deformities in 1915, surgeon Harry Haiselden refused to operate to save the boy’s life. Instead, he told the boy’s parents that their “defective” child should be allowed to die"

Linus Pauling was a scientist and peace advocate who was so widely admired that he’s the only person to win two unshared Nobel Prizes. In all his pursuits, he appeared to have an overriding philosophy to minimize human suffering. He believed that abortion caused less suffering than a hereditary disease. To reduce human suffering, he believed it was necessary to legally intervene to wipe out the factors that caused genetic diseases. The next step would be to restrict marriage and reproduction for carriers of the disease.

His statements also fail to recognize the fact that those 1000 individuals with chronic illness will then go on to have children of their own, and those children will have an even greater chance of illness (and dead babies) since their parents were ill. A cycle that spirals out of control until you get a vast majority of the population that is horribly unhealthy, poorly developed, and poorly functioning. I believe this is largely the current state of much of the world's population, and for this exact reason - we've been ignoring the long-term consequences of various medical interventions.