"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.

Monday, February 8, 2010

February 6th, 2010 Article in Ventura County Star

Hi All, My daughter's Bat Mitzvah was a huge success. It is good to be reminded of the joys in life from time to time. I hope everyone now understands why I have not been blogging much the past couple months.

Well, by now you are likely aware of the article in the Ventura County Star concerning the banning of midwife deliveries at Pleasant Valley Hospital in Camarillo, CA. ( http://www.vcstar.com/news/2010/feb/06/st-johns-pleasant-valley-forbids-midwife-as-of/ ) I have written that is was coming and now as of today, February 8th, it is official. Please read the article and consider forwarding it to everyone you know in the birthing world. Have them join up with the Birth Action Coalition now. While my blog has been documenting many absurdities and intrusions into the rightful choices of patients and their families by the OB committee and administration of St. John's Regional and Pleasant Valley, this new "policy" highlights clearly their vindictiveness behind their platitudes and flawed arguments. Mr. Murray and Dr. Carter's comments should be read very carefully. Mr. Murray undermines the safety and reputation of his own institution (Pleasant Valley Hospital). Why would he do that? I still believe one of their intentions is to lower the delivery numbers there to the point where they can justify closing the labor unit at PV. Dr. Carter undermines their whole argument when he says this is a doctor issue about me and has to do with home birth transfers. These patients have nothing to do with the 2 credentialed CNMs on staff who now have had their privileges revoked at one campus in an unprecedented move. And neither Mr. Murray or Dr. Carter legitimately answers the question of why it is unsafe for midwives low risk patients but OK for obstetricians to continue to deliver at PV. What is clear, however, is that behind closed doors, without comment from those affected, without concern of being held accountable and, seemingly, without concern for professionalism, patient autonomy or current medical evidence a persecution is taking place. This is not in the best interest of patients, midwives and anyone who believes in honesty and due process.

Again, please consider joining the BAC ( see link on right) and contacting anyone who might have media connections or pull with the Board of Directors or CHW corporate leaders. Thanks, Dr. F

1 comment:

  1. I got an e-mail from BAC about this today. Charlotte and I will be at the protest on Friday. These admins need to pull their heads out of where the sun don't shine and look at the facts. Study after study shows that even in equally low-risk pregnancies, the complication rate is much much higher in moms who birth at hospitals with doctors (present company excepted due to respecting delivery choices made by moms), yet these are the ones who can continue to deliver?

    It's one of those "mysteries," like why insurance companies often refuse to cover much-lower-priced homebirths and birth centers while having no problem paying for extremely expensive hospital births....