"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" Edmund Burke, 18th century Philospher.

"A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong gives it a superficial appearance of it being right." Thomas Paine

"The welfare of humanity is always the alibi of tyrants." Albert Camus

"Choice is the essence of ethics: if there were no choice there would be no ethics, no good, no evil; good and evil have meaning only insofar as man is free to choose." Margaret Thatcher, March 14, 1977

“It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” ― Upton Sinclair

Explaining the Cause

I am a practicing obstetrician who is a strong supporter of patients rights to informed consent and refusal. I believe a patient has the right to choose her own path given true and not skewed informed consent. Following that tenet, just as a woman should be able to choose to have an elective c/section she should be able to choose not to have one, as well. The American system of hospital based obstetric practice has been eroding those choices for women for quite some time. Due to concerns of economics, expediency and fears of litigation women are being coerced to make choices that may not be in their best interest.

I have had a long relationship collaborating with midwives and find the midwifery model of care to be evidenced based and successful. I was well trained at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in the mid 80's to perform breech deliveries, twin deliveries, operative vaginal deliveries and VBACs, and despite evidence supporting their continued value, hospitals are "banning" these options. Organized medicine is also doing its best to restrict the availability of access to midwives.

Home birthing is not for everyone but informed choice is. Medical ethics dictates that doctors have a responsibility and a fiduciary duty to their patients to provide true, not skewed, informed consent and to respect patient autonomy in decision making. Countries with the best outcomes in birthing have collaboration between doctors and midwives. This is not what has been happening in the hospitals of America. Its time for a change and the return of common sense.

The midwifery model of care supports pregnancy as a normal function of the female body and gives a legitimate and reasonable alternative to the over-medicalized model of birth that dominates our culture. Through this blog I hope to do my part to illuminate what is wrong with our maternity care system and what is right with it. I do not expect all to agree and that is OK. We must all understand that given honest data it is not always reasonable to expect two people to come to the same conclusion. Our differences should be respected.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Always question motives.

From: Patricia Sent: Thursday, August 27, 2009 8:57:34 AM

Subject: Re: Couple of things about ACOG

Thanks, Dr. Fischbein, for this recent notice from ACOG. It does seem like we are going back to the Dark Ages! Well, at least, they are putting out a statement that it is "okay" from women to have more than icechips in labor. Really? Who are these people?!

Re: reporting of unsuccessful homebirths. It is curious that there is a need for data collection on numbers. I am suspicious as to the motive for data collection. But I hope that along with collecting the numbers, there is an assessment for the reasons for hospital transfer (i.e. emergency vs. nonemergency).

Have a great day!

Dear Patricia, You should be suspicious. Last year they came out and made a statement against homebirth based on Level C evidence (consensus opinion). Now, it seems, they are out to find out if they were correct. This is ass backwards thinking and reeks of bad research technique. "Here is what I think now we will try to find evidence to prove it!!" By the way, if they don't, you will never be told. Completely lacking in objectivity and, as I said before, what do the anecdotal stories mean without comparison to successes? Also, I do not see them asking members to report data on bad outcomes in hospital births as they have already concluded that hospitals or birthing centers attached to hospitals are the safest place to give birth. This is just such a witch hunt. Thanks, Dr.F

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