Wednesday, June 18, 2008

AMA is not trying to ban homebirth, but a lie is always better than the truth

Here's a new motto for homebirth advocacy:

"Why tell the truth when a lie is so much more interesting?"

Take the recent claim by homebirth advocates that the AMA is trying to outlaw homebirth. In the last 2 days more than 40 homebirth advocacy websites have specifically claimed (often in the title of the post) that the AMA is attempting to make homebirth illegal. There's just one problem. That's lie.

So a flat out lie is presented as truth by homebirth advocates and then embroidered with lots of supplemental lies like the claiming or implying that women will be sent to jail. The lie is also explained with supporting lies, such as the supposed fear that obstetricians have of economic competition, as if obstetricians would be afraid of a practice that accounts for less than one quarter of 1% (0.24%) of births in the US.

Lies, lies, lies. That's standard for homebirth advocacy.

Let's look at what the AMA resolutions REALLY say. Here's the relevant passage from AMA Resolution 205: Home Deliveries:
RESOLVED, That our AMA develop model legislation in support of the concept that the safest setting for labor, delivery, and the immediate post-partum period is in the hospital, or a birthing center within a hospital complex, that meets standards jointly outlined by the AAP and ACOG, or in a freestanding birthing center that meets the standards of the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care, The Joint Commission, or the American Association of Birth Centers.
Here's the key passage from the companion resolution on the licensing of midwives, AMA Resolution 204: Midwifery Scope of Practice and Licensure:
RESOLVED, That our American Medical Association only advocate in legislative and regulatory arenas for the licensing of midwives who are certified by the American College of Nurse-Midwives ...
I encourage everyone to read both resolutions in their entirety. There is NO mention of criminalizing or "outlawing" homebirth.

Why are homebirth advocates lying about this? As usual, it's because the lie is so much better than the truth. Here's what the AMA actually said:

1. Homebirth is not as safe as birth in a hospital or licensed birth center.
2. Midwives should be licensed to the standards of the ACNM.

If homebirth advocates attacked the resolutions on what they actually said, they'd be forced into a discussion they would lose. Homebirth is NOT as safe as hospital birth. All the existing scientific evidence shows that homebirth has an increased risk of neonatal death. The ACNM standards for midwives ARE the appropriate standards. They are consistent with midwifery standards in EVERY other country in the industrialized world.

If homebirth advocates willingly lie about something so easy to check, it's not surprising that they lie about homebirth issues that require specialized knowledge to evaluate.

Here's what I'd like to know: Is it possible for homebirth advocates to make a case for homebirth without resorting to lies? I doubt it.

0 Old Comments: