In this column, the associate editor of The Journal of Perinatal Education (JPE) discusses the decision to devote an issue of JPE to the ethics of childbirth and maternity care. The current crisis in maternity care mandates a careful look at the ethical principles that provide
the foundation for practice. The contents of this special issue include: a broad overview of ethics of childbearing, historical perspectives and contemporary understanding of informed decision making, the ethical issues faced by childbirth educators, and the challenges and moral distress experienced
by childbirth educators and other maternity care providers when their values, beliefs, and ethical standards are in conflict with standard maternity care practices.
The Journal of Perinatal Education is the official journal of Lamaze International, whose mission is to promote, support, and protect natural, safe, and healthy birth through education and advocacy. The journal publishes peer-reviewed articles and evidence-based, practical resources that childbirth educators and other health care professionals can use to enhance the quality and effectiveness of their care or teaching to prepare expectant parents for birth.