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Enough!

March 24, 2015

My Au Pair is on vacation this week.  Miami.  Lucky girl.  After a week of unremitting motherhood I have found myself saying to my children things I swore I would never say.  Like “Because I said so!” and “Enough is enough!”.  My kids are six years old and under, so perhaps such non-logic works.  Unfortunately, I sometimes find myself wanting to say the same things about to fully grown adults.

A few days ago WBUR.org (Oh, my beloved NPR, how could you!) published a piece about the so-called “Home birth Caesarean Section”, otherwise known as “Holy %$^&# there a big problem, call a doctor!”.  (http://commonhealth.wbur.org/2015/03/what-to-expect-when-youre-birthing-at-home-a-c-section-possibly#more-49283)  It seems that women, wanting an “ideal” home birth and finding themselves or their babies in dire straights, need years of therapy to assuage the guilt, shame and terror that accompanies transfer to an hospital and the subsequent medical interventions that save the lives of themselves and their offspring.

People, women used to die in droves while undergoing “ideal”, “natural” childbirth.  The reason they don’t anymore is not because midwives and doulas have perfected breathing techniques and patented birthing benches.  It is because of science and medicine.  The anti-vaccine movement is a parallel example.  Children don’t die in droves anymore from measles; why?  Medicine and science.

Enough is enough!  Science is not the enemy.  Doctors are not out to ruin your beautiful, natural, organic lives.  Use the advances that scientists and doctors have worked so hard to discover and develop.  All our lives are immeasurably easier because of what these men and women have done.  Do what we say, because we say so, just every once in awhile.  Please.

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From → Healthcare

6 Comments
  1. I wish Drs. would put up a sign listing their cultural/lifestyle expectations of their patients or screen their patients. It would make it soooo much easier for patients to find the right Dr. for their family and lifestyle, and would make it much easier for the Dr. to not have to be angry,frustrated, impatient, lacking empathy, for their patients. It is impossible for any 1 Dr. to like and respect ALL patients and the same for Patients liking/respecting ALL Drs. It just isn’t going to happen. We try to network in the community to figure out which Drs are able to help us in the way we need help, but with all the moving American’s have to do the past 6-8 years because of unemployment it is tough to figure out which Drs. are able to give our family appropriate care. Maybe like a dating website- Like “Match” for patients and Drs. It would make medicine better for all.

    • Some do. My own pediatrician said at the outset that if I didn’t want to vaccinate my kids I wasn’t the doctor for her. Not all doctors, or patients for that matter, have the freedom to make those kinds of decisions.

  2. Diane, I like your suggestion of a matching system for doctors and patients.
    I’m with Sherie in my deep deep appreciation of the advances of modern medicine.
    And I’m with many patients in my distrust of over-medicalizations and over-reliance on medical technologies. When is enough enough?
    As a medical student, disappointed by the over-medicalization of childbirth (eg: movie’s over! time to go use forceps to pull the baby out!), I decided to shadow some midwives for a homebirth. It was a beautiful birthing process–until labor stalled, stage 2 lasted four hours, and the baby came out dead with the nuchal cord wrapped around its neck. I was devastated. Because the death was inside a home, the police came, and investigated the family for negligent death.
    It was as strong a reminder as reminders can come about the dangers of childbirth, and why, in the hospital, we’re so cautious about tracking the heartbeat of the baby inside of the mom. Because birth is a dangerous transition time between dependent-life to independent-life. C-sections save lives. That’s why they’re done. Or why they should be done. Not just because the evening’s entertainment is over and the doctor is ready to get the baby out and go home to bed:-)

  3. Susan permalink

    Amen,sister …..from a fellow clinician (PA), with lots of organic friends, mother of twins who had a c section after 2 days of unsuccessful labor…….feeling no guilt , got 2 happy kids ,now both in college…..dirty little secret , fed them McDonalds at age 2! Personal advice …..enjoy even the worst days with your kids , they go by so fast

  4. Modern Medicine rocks, but sadly we have hit a stage of “over medicalization ” of patients in general. That is where the money is- tests,meds and repeat visitors. It has been a very long time since I had babies, first was preterm(thank goodness for modern medicine! 2 pds and she ended up graduating with her BA at 18!) lost the second at the hospital, and third was the easiest birth on the planet at the hospital. The Dr. had 3-4 of us all being induced on the same day for his convenience which was the only problem,the birth became “medicalized” not for me or my baby. – So, of all people I do appreciate modern medicine. Interestingly, in the UK last year they came out with studies that at least for maternal health that home birth was an option that should be encouraged. I think with proper screening, and location a hospital birth isn’t ideal for all. In general, being pregnant is a pretty natural body function.(minus risk factors like maternal age, maternal health, previous complications with births) More then anything, where is the line? Humans are tricky creatures. We climb mountains at huge peril to our bodies- for the fun of it. We skydive at huge peril for the fun of it. We ski, skateboard and more that we are rewarded with a steady flow of broken bones and more. Lifestyle and culture makes being both a Dr and a patient a tricky business. Medicine has changed. Drs. are now responsible or feel responsible for not just treating the disease but for screening and preventing- to prevent us from harming our bodies, well that is the tricky business. Own a gun, overweight, thin but love bacon, too much coffee, work long office hours sitting and not moving,tree trimmer, addiction, vegan, home schooled, they all cross the lines at various points. Some Drs. are able to step away and accept that their patients live differently then themselves or the current cultural ideals, and some aren’t. Living is a risky business. Medicine is about eliminating risk- which makes for a lot of stress and complexities for both the patient and the Dr. We definitely need a “match” system to help both Drs. and patients navigate these new waters.

    • Excellent points. Where is the line drawn? You can’t decide that mountain climbers shouldn’t get care if they get hurt because they knew the risks and did it anyway.

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