Majority of doctors in the UK choose c-section over vaginal birth due to fear of litigation, reveals a new study.

According to a research by Trinity College Dublin, 70 per cent of doctors may do so because they are afraid of being sued and to avoid damage to the woman’s body. The unavailability of staff members to assist in vaginal birth is another important reason for opting c-section, the study cited by Mail Online revealed.

This is despite evidence suggesting that vaginal births are safer. Typically, a c-section is carried out only if it is safer for both the mother and baby than a vaginal birth.

The study analysed 34 scientific studies, involving 9,008 midwives and obstetricians between 1992 and 2016, about doctors’ attitudes to c-sections. About 67 per cent of obstetricians in the UK and Ireland choose c-section due to fear of legal consequences following complications during normal delivery.

 The ability to control labour was also something that appealed to doctors, who otherwise would have had to sometimes wait through the day for a natural birth.

“Caesarean section rates are increasing worldwide, particularly among first-time mothers, with limited explanation of the factors that influence the rising trend,” the study’s author, PHD student Sunita Panda, told the publication.

“This is a big concern for health care professionals because vaginal birth is safer and associated with fewer complications. Our research gives important insight into the ‘why’ behind the rising rate of caesarean sections.

 “Our study identified the significant influence of fear of litigation on clinicians’ decision to perform caesarean sections, irrespective of hospital setting, age, gender, professional experience, resources and culture within the health care system.”

The findings of the study were published in the journal PLOS ONE.