Monday, January 7, 2008

You Must Demand TRUE Informed Consent

Before a doctor performs any medical procedure, surgery or test on you, you should be fully aware of what the procedure is, why it is being done, what information or result will be obtained, alternative treatments/tests, possible risks or complications, as well as the possibility of a second opinion. This is informed consent. If your care provider does not make you aware of this information, he or she is guilty of not obtaining your informed consent for the procedure. Many doctors, especially obstetricians, have found a sneaky way around having to inform you of your options: they give you a stack of papers to sign, and hidden in the very small print somewhere in the 15 pages is a blanket informed consent document covering anything and everything the doctor may want to do to you during your pregnancy, labor, and immediately postpartum. This is not informed consent. This is a cover-their-butt approach that allows the obstetrician to not be sued while being able to do anything he or she wants to you and your baby because, supposedly, you were informed and consented. It is the hope and purpose of this blog to help you understand that you have choices in your maternity care. It is your right and responsibility as a mother to question what is being done to you and your baby. It is your right and responsibility to see to the best interests of yourself and your child.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Many obstetricians work a third of the year to pay malpractice so bums like you can sue away when your child doesn't turn out to be a rocket scientist!

vbacwarrior said...

I decided to publish your comments from now on, "anonymous". I want the other readers here to see what you have to say.

AtYourCervix said...

Just to let you know, the "informed consent" or any consent that you sign in the hospital isn't worth anything when it comes to legalities.

Thought you'd like to know.

Tiffany said...

I have had two kids, in two states with different doctors. Both of my doctors were straight foreward, full of information and options, and gave tons of information to me about what my choices were and the things that may happen with my choices. Not all doctors are like what is described, you have to find good ones just like anything you pay for. I did get a stack of paperwork but it came with a heafty conversation, and more conversations. My 2nd doctor was even more informative. I have not read alot of your stuff yet but there can and is good to both forms of child birth and if you make safe informed decisions you will bew happy. Things dont always go the way you want them, but you get through it and be happy with your life. I think a very important thing to remember is the same choice is not right for everyone, that is what makes us unique and what makes us amazing. I hope you respect that some women want hospital birth experiences and that you do have choices there too, you need to find the right doctor and let him know what you are expecting and wanting your experience to be like and ask if it is something he/she will do. You interview nannies, babysitters, employees, reaseach cars, homebuilders, schools, why not the doctor then you have made a choice that you are happy with. I also do not know if you sued or whe other poster above me but it really sucks to have to pay expensive premiums on insurance and high priced doctor visits from over inflated legal battles, would I sue if something were very wrong, YES but I hope it is a reasonable suit for a reasonable outcome.

New Doula said...

I am a new doula, having entered the profession fresh with the hope of trying to prevent c-sections. It has been very difficult to get clients because of the rural area where I have moved to, a place where nobody has heard of birth doulas, a place where the mega-hospital NICU runs the show. It's 2011 c-section rate is 38%. I have only attended 2 births so far, but both ended up as c-sections. I feel like the first section was done partially because of the mother's choices, but also, the lingering feeling remains that the ObGyn deliberately sectioned because I was present, and she didn't want to deal with a doula in the room. Now, with this second birth, I am even more in shock because of the very obvious LYING which was done by the ObGyn and some of the labor and delivery staff. I am in SHOCK because I was praised for being "a good doula" because I didn't come to their hospital with MY agenda [but cooperated with theirs]. There was NOTHING wrong with this mother who I accompanied to the hospital. Her only sins were being young, and that her waters had ruptured spontaneously. I am mourning my lack of experience. I am mourning that I didn't know that augmentation is the same thing as induction. I am mourning that even though my gut said it was a fear tactic, I didn't have the experience or knowledge to tell the parents that when the ObGyn said my client would "end up on the table" without the "augmentation" that this was a LIE. I am mourning that my poor, brave girl labored in horrible PitocinHell all day long, when she didn't have to. I am mourning that these assholes at the hospital shot her up with every drug they could, so that the blank check that is Medecaid could unblinkingly foot the bill. I am screaming that they made promises they never kept, sited studies that they liked and IGNORED studies that they didn't like... for instance, the studies that say laboring women should be allowed food and water. I am in shock that the c-section was probably done for the convenience of the attending ObGyn, a stranger to my client, because her ObGyn decided to go on vacation and didn't bother to notify her that he was leaving until week 38, 2 weeks after everyone on his team had been pressuring her to induce. I am dismayed that these people don't go home and look at themselves in the mirror and hate themselves for breaking not only the Hippocratic Oath but the Golden Rule. I don't know if I can do this anymore. I don't know if I can handle being a good little certified DONA doula. I am shocked that some of the L&D nurses whispered to me about how awful it was at that hospital, how they'd never seen a doula there except me and that I wasn't welcome because it was feared that I would actually stop a victim, I mean, patient, from having a c-section. I am sick at heart, sick to my stomach, and angry as hell at the hubris of all the assholes who think they own another womans' body, who don't give a damn about her emotional experience, and who could give a fucking shit about the poor little baby born dazed, without crying, with the appearance as if she'd been sucking on a bong.I don't know if I can sit by silently and witness this even one more time. Thank you for your blog, and for the music. I am so sorry that these people medically raped you and your birth. I am so sorry that they couldn't see enough past their hubris to think of you, your life, your heart, your soul. I am so sorry that people like me are powerless to protect you.