Ms. Ma was 41 weeks pregnant and staying in Yulin Number One Hospital in the northern Shaanxi province. Doctors advised her and her family that due to the size of the infant’s head “vaginal delivery would have been risky”.
Ms. Ma’s family refused doctors to perform the operation on her; and, according to Chinese law, major operations may not be performed without the permission of the family. Ms. Ma emerged from her ward twice to express her pain to her family but they still did not change their mind. Even after the strong suggestion from medical staff, Ms. Ma’s family still refused her a caesarean section. Later, Ms. Ma took her own life.
When it comes to a woman’s own health, her decision is the only one that should matter
As a woman, Ms. Ma should possess the ability to dictate what procedures to go through regarding her own body and pregnancy. This argument is much like the one surrounding abortion. When it comes to a woman’s own health, her decision is the only one that should matter.
The law is supposed to protect our rights, not deny us access to life-saving choices. And being a family member should not interfere with a woman’s own jurisdiction and the expertise of professionally-trained doctors.