Friday, February 08, 2008

Look what Johnson and Daviss are up to now

No, they are not publishing new research. How could they do that? They have no data to show that homebirth is as safe as hospital birth. Instead they are doing 3 things:
1. Selectively using the MANA statistics that are being withheld from the public to influence legislative debates on midwifery and to provide court testimony when midwives are prosecuted

2. Attempting to fend off questions and criticism of their BMJ 2005 study that claims to show that homebirth is as safe as hospital birth but ACTUALLY shows homebirth in 2000 to have a neonatal death rate almost TRIPLE that of hospital birth is for low risk women in 2000.

3.Collaborating with Jennifer Block, author of Pushed, to answer questions about the BMJ study coming to her on her website.
How do I know this? They've written about it in the latest Winter 2007-2008 NARM (North American Registry of Midwives) Bulletin. On using the MANA statistics:

The CPM2000 study continues to be accessed from the BMJ website by more than 1,000 different individuals every month. With Wisconsin using the BMJ article in their legislative effort to make the case for the safety of CPM attended out-of-hospital births.

1. A record number of states have turned towards legislation (11 at last count) We have produced documentation to educate agency staff and policymakers for South Dakota, Wisconsin, Indiana, California, Missouri, New York, Minnesota, and Maine so far, and will continue to develop and make presentations when requested.
2. At least 10 midwives are presently under investigation. We have provided testimony for four court cases over the last two years.
3. We presented "Evidence Used, Evidence Ignored: the case of home birth policy," at the American Public Health Association meeting in Washington, D.C. in November.

We want CPMs to know that we are available for presenting state-focused statistics for the purpose of educating agency staff and policy makers and for testimony for individual midwives. We do not charge for this service. It is important to understand that meaningful statistics require more than a simple tabulation of births. They require comparison to a control group and for midwives attending home births, the CPM2000 study serves as the best comparison group for either the individual midwife or for the state as a whole. Thus we are able to provide the midwife and the courts with high quality, statistically valid information on birth outcomes from a highly reputable source that any judge/prosecutor/lawyer can download from the BMJ website. We realize that there are few epidemiologists who can offer this type of support to midwives who are on trial because it is time consuming, generally involves dropping everything else when suddenly asked to produce a report in a very tight time frame on the specific case, and requires specific expertise.

On handling questions about the BMJ study:
Some of you have written emails to us asking questions about the BMJ study. We have responded to these questions by placing a section called "Answers to Questions" on our website at
And on collaborating with Jennifer Block:
Jennifer Block also consults with us periodically, as we were quoted frequently in her new book "Pushed." Because of her popularity, we are posting answers to questions coming to her on the website as well.
As I have written in the past, the Johnson and Daviss BMJ study 2005 is not an impartial study produced by independent researchers. It was undertaken by homebirth advocates in collaboration with MANA, and funded by a homebirth advocacy foundation. It was designed specifically to serve as an evidentiary foundation of a campaign on behalf of direct entry midwifery. There was never any question about what the results would show. They would only show that homebirth was "as safe as hospital birth" even if it required, as it did, withholding information about neonatal mortality in the hospital in 2000 and comparing homebirth to out of date papers extending back decades.


0 Old Comments: