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Location: Allentown, PA

I'm a Christian wife and a mom to three daughters and two sons. I'm a member of the board of directors of EmPoWeReD Birth. In my "spare time" I'm a doula, and a certified childbirth instructor.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Medicine in America

Recently I was told about a new blog...a mom venting about her coerced cesarean birth. She writes:
The experience made me see how combative the relationship with obstetricians and
their patients have become. In my case, my obstetrician Dr. Claudia Holland
burst into the operating room while I was strapped to the o.r. table, shouting
at me that she wanted my verbal consent because she "didn't want to be charged
with assault." Is this an incidence of a single individual with anger-management
problems or the current state of obstetrics in the U.S.?

Unfortunately, I don't see this kind of problem as simply an obstetrical problem. Its a rampant problem in medicine. There are some good, respectful Dr's out there. But unfortunately it seems that more often than not, Dr's expect to have cart blanche to do whatever they deem fit in the treatment of the patient.

I've gone toe to toe with my children's pediatrician over the issue of vaccinations. It started out that I wanted to delay vaccinations for my 4th child. My first 3 were nearly fully vaccinated (no chicken pox or pnemecoccal). But my 4th had a bit of a cold when he went in for his "2 month" well baby visit, and he was only 6 weeks old to boot, so I wanted to just wait until he was 3 months old to start. Just one itty bitty month...and as I said, I had a history of complying with vaccinations.

Well my pediatrician hit the roof, and yes, did her best to coerce me into having the injections done--including having me sign a form indicating that I was refusing the shots against medical advice, and my child could suffer dire consequences because of this. I later found the exact form on the AAP website, along with instructions about how it could be use to convince "waivering" parents to consent to vaccinations.

But I'm a stubborn type, and stood my ground. And then I went home and did what I should have done 3 children prior. I actually started researching vaccines. When I finally brought my son back when he was 4 months old (that's right, I didn't bring him back at 3 months), I only had 2 of the 5 shots done that had been planned.

And the whole thing has created a huge rift in my relationship with the pediatrician. I'm always nervous about what is going to happen when I take my son in--even though I refuse to see the particular Dr who blew up with me. As a result, he's now 27 months old, and hasn't been to the pediatrician since he was 9 months old. I don't think this is a good thing. I know he has a problem with learning to talk, and would like a referral to get speech therapy, but am just not sure I want to deal with the lecture that I think I will get.


Blogger TulipGirl said...

A good example of the opposite. . . I took my youngest to the dentist a few weeks ago. There had been emergencies, and the doctor was running quite a bit behind schedule. My youngest was in the chair and about to be numbed and I offered to have him come back another day (me valuing the work done on my child less than the Dr's schedule/other patients.) The doctor's response, "Well, he's a patient, too. . ."

That really made an impact on me. Seeing the respect of this DR for a young child. . .

7:46 PM, April 29, 2006  
Blogger Jenn said...

Thank you Tulip!

Yes, there are good examples out there, and we need to remember them. I know that my dentist is willing to go the extra mile for clients. My orthodontist when I was younger too. He actually did my braces for no more than insurance would pay for because my parents wouldn't pay. I always used to joke with him too that he was mean because I would just get started reading a magazine article, and he would pop around the corner smiling and say "Hi Jennifer, I'm ready to see you!" Never a long wait in his office...

4:40 AM, May 01, 2006  
Anonymous Meg said...

Oddly enough (and I have NO recollection of how exactly I found your site, but I did! :) ), I just signed one of those AAP "Refusal to Vaccinate" forms this morning. When I picked up the form from the pediatrician's office, the gal said "Ohh... you'll hear it from them on your next visit, won't you."

Ohhh... yes, I will. :)

2:28 PM, July 13, 2009  

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