The first legislation in the world to protect women from the risks of childbirth.
In discussions on reproductive rights or reproductive freedom, people tend to focus on positive scenarios and the measures to fulfill these needs. The risks of childbirth are often ignored. When accidents happen during childbirth, how to consoling the suffering women, as well as preventing future tragedies, should also be regarded as an integral part of reproductive freedom, so that women can remain free of worries about childbirth. Through the long-term efforts of mine along with Taiwan Women’s Link, in December 2015, Taiwan’s legislature passed the Childbirth Accident Relief Act which fulfills such need.
The Childbirth Accident Relief Act (CARA)
Why should the state shoulder the risks of childbirth?
People may question why should the state provide compensation or relief for a "personal" childbirth accident? Indeed, a woman gives birth because she would like to have a child. However, in the meantime, the child she gives birth to is also a future member of our society – a worker, civil servant, teacher, soldier, doctor, nurse, etc. Therefore, childbirth is not only a personal matter, but also a societal and the national matter.
Nevertheless, there have always been unpredictable and uncontrollable risks for reproduction. When a woman selflessly puts her own life at risk to fulfill the mission of "mankind's survival",the state should also shoulder the risks involved.
How can the state bear the burden these risks?
The government establishes a "childbirth accident relief mechanism" to bear the burden of risks.
- A women-centric perspective: Regardless of the locations of where the childbirth accidents occur, the women receive compensation as long as the accidents may relate to the childbirth.
- Government-backed Relief Fund: In the occurrence of death, major injury for the mother, infant or fetus, compensation is offered to the puerpera or her family to console their suffering and to ease the doctor-patient conflict.
- Spirit of "assigning no blame but demanding accountability": CARA avoids punishing medical care system, so that it will honestly take the responsibility of "correction", which means to inspect the cause of the incident and to propose plans for improvement, thereby to raise the safety and quality of medical services.
- The government establishes external monitoring mechanisms to oversee and reinforce the implementation of "correction" measures in medical institutions.
Sponsoring Organization: Taiwan Women's Link
Co-Sponsoring Organization: Taiwan Foundation for Democracy
Ms. Huang Sue-Ying, Executive Director, Taiwan Women's Link
- Dr. Padmini Murthy MD, MPH, FRSPH, FAMWA,
Professor / Global Health Director, NYMC SHSP
MWIA Addl NGO Rep to United Nations
- Dr. Wang , Tsung-Hsi MD,PHD, Senior advisor of health, TECRO
Time: 6:15 PM, March 18, 2019
Venue: Church Center for the United Nations, Room: Tenth Floor