Obstetric Violence in Italy

Marina Di Lello Finuoli*

*Corresponding author

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This essay focuses on so-called obstetric violence, i.e., the medical malpractice consisting of disrespect and/or abuses to the detriment of women during their labor or when they give birth, as well as during health care services concerning the sexual and reproductive sphere. The main goal is to start a debate on a topic already considered by foreign lawmakers, also for punishment purposes. After an empirical-criminological survey of the cases and the misconduct to be labelled as “obstetric violence”, this essay analyses the legal tools available in Italy. From a law reform perspective, the author reflects on the (non-criminal) strategies to prevent distortions of the doctor–patient relationship as well as on the harm to women’s self-determination and dignity, particularly in respect of the rules on informed consent.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-15
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Obstetric Violence
  • Violence against women
  • Informed consent


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