Participation of Others
Although the pregnant woman has the right to exclude all third parties from consultation about her medical care, most women want to involve other persons in their decisions. The birth plan should include the names of any persons the patient designates to receive information about her pregnancy. The patient may also want to sign a durable power of attorney to delegate the right to consent to care to a third party if she becomes medically incompetent to consent to her own care. If the patient wants her husband or other person in the delivery room, this should be stated in the birth plan. The plan should discuss any restrictions on the presence of this third person (special training, a hospital orientation tour, etc.) and under what circumstances the person will be excluded. It is recommended that the husband or other person mentioned in the plan also be requested to read and sign the relevant portions of the plan.