A Human Rights Framework for Midwifery Care


  • Joyce Beebe Thompson CNM, DrPH

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    • Joyce Beebe Thompson, CNM, DrPH, FAAN, FACNM, is the Lacey Professor of Community Health Nursing at Western Michigan University, Bronson School of Nursing. She has written extensively on values, ethics, and moral reasoning, coauthored several texts with Dr. Henry O. Thompson, and participated in the development of the ACNM and ICM codes of ethics.

10852 Enzian Road, Delton, MI 49046. E-mail: Joyce.Thompson@wmich.edu


This article presents a rights-based model for midwifery care of women and childbearing families. Salient features include discussion of the influence of values on how women are viewed within cultures and societies, universal ethical principles applicable to health care services, and human rights based on the view of women as persons rather than as objects or chattel. Examples of the health impact on women of persistent violation of basic human rights are used to support the need for using a human rights framework for midwifery care—a model supported by codes of ethics, the midwifery philosophy of care, and standards of practice.