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SOGC Statement on Respectful Care

The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists advocates on behalf of women to receive quality of care throughout their sexual and reproductive life, including the right to have a safe and respectful birth experience. There are more than 380,000 childbirths in Canada each year. In the vast majority of cases, obstetricians, nurses, family physicians, midwives and doulas are extraordinarily caring professionals who are mindful of the particular vulnerability of women during and after labour, and are deeply sensitive and caring to the needs of the women in their care.

An important mandate of the SOGC is to advance health care through education, advocacy, leadership and collaboration. We do not have any examining, licensing or regulatory authority over any health care provider, but we do provide clinical practice guidelines to provide evidence for health care providers, hospitals, health regions and provincial colleges to use in ensuring a high quality of care. We issue between 10-15 guidelines a year, each researched and compiled by a member-based committee comprised of subject experts, including such topics as childbirth and cultural safety.

We play a significant educational role by providing continuing professional development to our members, including obstetric care based on the philosophy that respects sexual and reproductive health as a human right. We offer courses on obstetric safety, in which communication is taught as the basis of safe care. We also maintain five public education websites that incorporate the latest medical and scientific data on pregnancy, sex, menopause, HPV, and menstruation, each with special consideration of health inequities experienced by indigenous women and vulnerable women around the world.