Audio Interview

Elective caesarean sections from an evolutionary perspective

Published on May 30, 2018   26 min

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Interviewer: Professor Trevathan, thank you very much for sparing the time today. We're discussing elective caesarean sections. Let me see if I've got your opinion correct. Is it correct that you accept that there are many medical conditions, both for the purposes of the health of the baby and the mother, to support using C-sections, but you also believe that there are potentially adverse outcomes from the elective C-sections, and that your opinion is based upon a consideration of evolutionary perspectives. Have I got it right? Prof. Trevathan: That's an excellent summary of my perspective. Interviewer: Great. We'll come to your opinions on the elective sections shortly. But, you believe that in many countries, there are women who should have caesareans, but are not getting them, is that also correct? Prof. Trevathan: That is correct. Interviewer: Right. So, before we get onto that subject, which we'll take first, can we just get a particular term out of the way, the word natural, the way people often use the word natural. Given that even before homo sapiens came into existence, humans have been using their cognitive abilities to adapt to the environment. Is it very useful to use the word natural? Prof. Trevathan: I think there's so much confusion about what that means, that it probably is not a very good term to use anymore. To some people, it simply means no drugs, to others it means no intervention. There even those that think that the only natural way to give birth is to give birth completely alone, which is not what I think is characteristic of the human species.

Elective caesarean sections from an evolutionary perspective

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