Friday, May 16, 2008

Aggressive ignorance

The only thing worse than ignorance is aggressive ignorance. Mama Mid(Wife) Madness has offered us a perfect example (now password protected but cached here).

First let's review the multiple incidents of incompetence that she and her preceptor provided to an unsuspecting patient (More midwifery malpractice): The patient hemorrhaged from an unknown tear. The midwives couldn't find it (#1). They packed the vagina which is never an appropriate treatment (#2). They thought it might be from the cervix, but they never checked (#3). They did not suture anything (#4). They are very lucky that the patient did not bleed to death, but it remains to be seen if she will suffer rectal incontinence or a rectal fistula.

Mama Mid(Wife) found the link and promptly demonstrate the hallmark of ignorance: she refused to read it. She doesn't know what I said, but she is sure that she doesn't need to learn anything.
I haven't read the full post from Amy's site which has drawn you all here because I suspect that it's more of the same stuff. I noted from the outset how disrespectful it was (and sadly most often is) and I have no interest in sharing the link or reading the rest of it.
Anyone who is secure in her knowledge of the subject under discussion would have no difficulty reading my entire post and responding to it with the appropriate scientific evidence. The fact that she could not even bring herself to read it tells us something important: she is afraid she will find out something she doesn't want to know. She does not want to know the truth if it will conflict with her ideology, and the welfare of the patients be damned.

She is right about one thing though; we do have a difference of opinion. She seems to think the big problem here is whether she is receiving the respect that she thinks she deserves. It think the big problem is whether the patient is receiving the care that SHE deserves. This is always the way it is with homebirth midwives. They think everything is about them!

The rest of her post is a compendium of bizarre excuses as to why it was okay that they never bothered to determine the source of the hemorrhage (a liter of blood!), why it was okay that they treated the patient inappropriately, and the coup de grace of inane excuses: claiming that the fact that the patient survived the incompetent care is proof that the care was appropriate (it's not).

She ends, of course, with the main focus of homebirth midwives, themselves.
Midwives, and out of hospital birth are a vital, vibrant, amazing piece of maternity care. We aren't going anywhere.
Personally, I don't find ignorance and gleeful incompetence to be either vital or vibrant, although I do find it to be amazing. I understand that aggressively ignorant and gleefully incompetent homebirth midwives have no intention of going anywhere; what's more upsetting is that they have no intention of learning from their mistakes and protecting their patients.

I encourage anyone comtemplating the safety of homebirth to read Mama Mid(Wife)'s two posts in their entirety. This is what homebirth midwifery looks like, and this is why babies and women die because of homebirth midwifery.

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