The home birth „contracts” we`ve seen are not intended to record a collaborative conversation. They are clearly intended to ensure compliance. The undeniable message to births is that they cannot be trusted and that they must be kept in harmony. Helena, pregnant with her 3rd baby at week 22 and unhappy with the way nhs Lothian has handled the situation: a „contract” is an agreement that must be legally enforceable. This is a way of settling business relationships: they give something (normally money) and receive something in return, and if one of the parties breaks the contract, they can be sued. Contracts exist in private healthcare facilities where a patient can sue a doctor for failing to provide the promised healthcare, but contracts have no place for patients in the NHS. With more and more families choosing to document their surrogacy trip, Birth Becomes Her has established a specific surrogate agreement/contract for birth photographers that they can use with their clients. This contract takes into account the unique relationship between photographer, parents and surrogate mother. This contract has been verified by a lawyer, but as always, please have your business lawyer checked, as laws vary from country to country and around the world. We must make it clear that Birthrights does not in itself violate written or even signed agreements. In our trainings for healthcare professionals, we invite midwives and doctors to write discussions about birth decisions, including the pros and cons of each option discussed and any referenced evidence. A true two-way dialogue, which is reflected precisely in a written protocol signed by the person, can help protect health professionals from a legal right. It can also allay fears of helping a woman in her decisions, especially when a pregnant person has a different view of the right decision than the doctor.
But the important part of the process is the quality dialogue that leads to informed consent – this piece of paper is just proof that the conversation took place. As the Supreme Court stated in the Montgomery decision, physicians cannot fulfill their duty to obtain consent by requiring signatures on consent forms. Representatives also invite people to bring home the Confidential Parent/Unborn Child Agreement for personal use. .
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