Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Goer tries to avoid the issue

Over the past several days I have been participating in a discussion on the Lamaze forum. As I detailed in a previous post (ACOG homebirth policy), my substantive claim is that there is no scientific evidence that homebirth is as safe as hospital birth, and the studies that claim that homebirth is as safe as hospital birth show nothing of the kind.

In particular, the Johnson and Daviss study, which is the most widely quoted because it has the fewest methodological errors, used the wrong control group to compare with neonatal deaths at homebirth. Judith Lothian made an attempt to argue that is doesn't matter. Now Henci Goer tries to divert attention away from the issue by quoting a bunch of papers and the numbers in them. You can read it here if you would like.

This is my response:
Perhaps the lay people on this board will not understand your attempts to baffle and misdirect them, but I do. Other people might be confused or impressed by lots of citations and lots of numbers. However, all the citations and numbers you presented above have essentially nothing to do with the issue at hand.

Johnson and Daviss used the wrong group as a control. You have not denied this, nor could you, since it is obviously true. You cannot use a control group fished out of other people's out of date studies. Since their control group is wrong, their conclusions are wrong.

It is just that simple.

It was the wrong control group, wasn't it? Yes or no.


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