We analyzed the data of the Maternal Mortality Committee of the Massachusetts Medical Society to investigate cesarean section-associated maternal deaths. Between 1954-1985, the number of cesarean section-related deaths per 100,000 live births did not significantly change despite a quadrupling of the cesarean section rate. Between 1976-1984, there were 649,375 births and 121,217 cesarean sections in the state. Seven deaths were directly related to cesarean section, a rate of 5.8 per 100,000 cesarean sections. In contrast, the rate for vaginal deliveries was 10.8 per 100,000 vaginal deliveries. We conclude that the risk of maternal death from cesarean section is low.