The National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) has concluded that women can elect to have a caesarean birth in the comfort of their own sofa or hot tub, if they don’t fancy having a child through the normal channels. Some mums-to-be have welcomed the much more direct approach to childbirth.
Doctors, many of whom are already reluctant to park their expensive cars on council estates in the early hours, have complained at the thought of performing unnecessary surgery in cheaply furnished surroundings. But health authorities are attempting to address these fears by offering to fit pregnant women with easy-to-open Velcro flaps or rust-proof zips before their 'due date', to make it more practical for their partners to get involved with the birth.
"A significant proportion of the women we asked said they favoured caesarean delivery", explained NICE spokesman George Humphries, "they gave us quite a range of reasons. A low pain threshold, feeling a bit too tired to push, not wanting to get icky gloop all over a new vajazzle. Who are doctors to decide when major surgery is required?"
Humphries identified possible bottle-necks that could put too much demand on surgeons. "Not only can local traffic be a problem, but a surprisingly large number of women are choosing their birth time around the TV schedules. We're expecting a peak in demand just before the X-Factor final, for instance", he explained.
By fitting women with surgical tummy fasteners well in advance of popular weekend reality shows, Humphries believes that the workload of maternity wards can be smoothed out nicely. "It's a simple procedure. The mother-to-be is given a general anaesthetic, and when she wakes up, we show her how it works by unzipping her a bit and popping a couple of leaflets inside for baby to read”, he explained.
"There's one that tells him or her about their human rights, and there’s a feedback form for the hospital. After that she's free to leave. Well, just as soon as we've given her some basic instructions on what to do if the zip gets stuck, and some tips on untangling our new Quik-Lok umbilical cords."
Humphries is already planning to allow people to elect for other medical procedures, where there is absolutely no need whatsoever. "A few people have expressed an interest in being installed in an iron lung, just because they find breathing on their own really boring", he confirmed.
"We've also seen an increase in waiting times for colostomy bags, they seem to peak just before the release date of the new HALO game", Humphries revealed. He believes that the unqualified, ill-informed customer is always right, and that the new, more proactive approach reflects modern attitudes to medicine. "In the past we’ve been slow to respond to feedback from patients, they’ve accused us of being lazy. The bloody hypocrites."