Sunday, October 28, 2007

Homebirth death after DEM abandons patient

Obstetricians and CNMs are professionals. In contrast, DEMs are poorly educated dilletantes who, in a crisis, behave like children. Could you imagine a doctor or a CNM running away in the midst of a serious medical complication? Of course not. It would be illegal, unethical, and a betrayal of the most basic values of any care provider. Evidently, DEMs do it quite commonly, and in this case, the baby died as a result.

According to Mama Mid(wife) Madness:
Have heard a couple of times in the last few weeks tales of midwives taking on home VBAC clients but then, when transport is indicated they are sent off to the hospital without their midwife. In one such case recently in Seattle, the rumor mill has it that not only did the midwife not show up, but the clients were instructed to tell the staff that they were attempting an unassisted birth, so no charts were made available to the hospital staff either. Without the whole picture the hospital staff feel that they were unable to diagnose the gravity of this woman's situation promptly enough and horrible story made short mother's uterus ruptured, baby died. I'll leave it to you to imagine how warmly the hospital feels about midwives and VBAC right now...
Mama Mid(wife) recognizes that this is unethical, "I will never, ever drop a client off at a hospital having coached her to lie to cover my ass. It strikes me as beyond cowardly." but misses another, equally important lesson.

Mama Mid(wife) claims that DEMs are hampered by the fact that "... ACOG, based on poor research, ... [elevates] perceptions of VBAC 'risk' beyond any reasonable estimation." That is absurd. Extensive research has demonstrated the EXACT magnitude of the risk. This is a very basic mistake of reasoning that DEMs make over, and over again. A small risk does not mean no risk. It means that a disaster can reliably be expected on a regular basis. And because we know that disasters WILL happen on a regular basis, providers MUST (legally and ethically) prepare for them.

Since DEMs routinely pretend that bad things will not happen, they feel no need to make adequate preparations. And when, despite strenuous pretending, serious complications occur anyway, they behave like small children: they try to keep it a secret for as long as possible (and thereby fail to transport in a timely fashion), they beg everyone not to "tell" (instructing patients to claim they were attempting UC) and then they run away and hope that the grownups at the hospital will be able to figure out what to do. And now a baby is dead as a direct result of their unprofessional and childish behavior.


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