J M Mathibe-Neke Completed her PhD from Witwatersrand University, Doctoral Research methodology (RAU, 2004), (M Cur) in Midwifery and Neonatal Nursing (RAU, 2000). MSc Med Bioethics and Health Law (University of the Witwatersrand). Her Research focus: Psychosocial care during pregnancy and childbirth, Ethics and Health Law, Supervision of Master’s and Doctoral students.
Revisiting and reflecting on the ethic of care in the context of women’s health, would refresh what is valuable to women during a childbirth experience. Basic ethical principles are significant in the provision of care that address the needs of women during pregnancy, delivery and postnatal care. Women are vulnerable during childbirth as they need optimal care. Once women’s expectations are not met, they report dehumanising experiences that carry long-term consequences to their well-being.
The aim of the study was to establish pregnant women’s subjective experiences of antenatal care with a purpose of determining if the care received was ethically grounded. A qualitative approach was used by use of focus group discussions that were held with women attending antenatal care in the selected Maternal Obstetric Units in Gauteng Province, South Africa. Data and intra-group saturation was reached with the fourth focus group discussion. A “Framework analysis”of data was applied as the approach is grounded on the original accounts and observation of the people studied, based on the aims and objectives of the study. The analysis continuum was based on raw data, descriptive statements, then interpretation.
The findings as reflected from the participants’ responses indicated evidence of some violation of basic ethical principles and human rights by midwives in caring for women with reference to the Constitution of South Africa.
Ethics content should form a basis for Health Science curriculum and healthcare practitioners should be empowered regarding matters of ethics, health law and human rights related to healthcare practice. The presentation will offer empirical evidence that other faculties can use to expand their teaching of health sciences students and research on matters regarding ethical practice.