HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Rewritten Opinion, In re Madyun

Maya Manian (UCSF), Rewritten Opinion, In re Madyun, Feminist Judgments: Reproductive Justice Rewritten (Kimberly Mutcherson ed., Cambridge University Press 2020):

This chapter of Feminist Judgments: Reproductive Justice Rewritten (Kimberly Mutcherson ed., 2020) reimagines the trial court opinion in In re Madyun, a case involving a court-ordered Cesarean section on a pregnant woman. The actual court case authorized a forced C-section on the plaintiff, Ayesha Madyun, based on the attending physician’s belief that delaying surgery might lead to dangerous infections in both the patient and her unborn baby. Mrs. Madyun eventually gave birth to a healthy baby boy with no sign of infection. The feminist judgment rejects the notion that courts can order forced medical treatment upon competent adult patients solely based on pregnancy. The new opinion reasons that forced C-sections not only violate the principle of informed consent and present public health risks by deterring pregnant people from seeking medical care, but also intrude upon constitutional rights of privacy and bodily integrity. Farah Diaz-Tello’s commentary complements the rewritten opinion, providing background material and analysis of the feminist judgment.

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