"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.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Update from Joyce Weckl, CNM

Dear Friends and Colleagues;

Here is a little background and update on our struggle in Ventura County. St. John's Oxnard and St. John's Pleasant Valley (Camarillo) are sister hospitals owned by CHW. Recently it was passed through peds committee (where this started), OB committee, MEC, and the Board of DIrectors that hospital policy would change so that CNMs were no longer allowed to deliver at St. John's Pleasant Valley. The reason cited was safety. Pleasant Valley is a small community hospital with no NICU. St. John's Oxnard is a large regional medical center with a NICU. We are still able to deliver in Oxnard but our office is in Camarillo. Not to mention, women want to deliver in their local hospital and for some women this access to care is extremely prohibitive.

There has never been any sort of peer review over the quality of CNM care nor were we invited or aware of any of these proceedings. In fact, the letter they sent me (3 days before this became effective) stated that this was no reflection whatsoever on my care. It also stated that I was not entitled to a hearing or review. Our belief is that this policy is the result of several political agendas of certain members of the medical staff and has no basis in evidence or statistics. I also feel that this is not just about midwifery but also about women's health care options being determined by back room dealings and not evidence based medical care.

The local group that is spearheading the campaign is called Birth Action Coalition (BAC) their website is the go to place for current information. We've been on the news, had lots of coverage in the local paper, and are trying to organize letter writing and protests. Please see the website for more information. All of the media links are on there.

I urge you to let your voice be heard, please forward this to anyone and everyone that you can think of. This is a travesty. One other note, Mike Murray the CEO of St. John's is "resigning" in March. This will leave us without any main person to complain to. That's why it is imperative to contact his boss and other members listed on the contact sheet.

Many thanks,
Joyce Weckl, CNM


No comments:

Post a Comment