The law regarding consent is well established, and most midwives will be entirely familiar with it. O'Boyle (2006) notes that there is a plethora of guidance supporting practitioners when considering this topic. Midwives mainly deal with women who are mentally competent and the question of over-ruling a woman's stated wishes rarely arises, at least not explicitly. However, there are those who claim that both ‘informed choice’ and ‘informed consent’ are myths in contemporary maternity care (Robertson, 2003). There is an argument which claims that the ‘obstetric police’ are determined to over-rule the expressly stated wishes in favour of ‘fetal rights’ (Meredith, 2005), although most of the supporting evidence for this derives from the USA and not the UK.