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There are online lives and there are real lives

It was with disappointment that I read today one of my favourite blogs will be no more, and I felt sadness and dismay when I discovered why.

Repeat visitors to this blog may have noticed that I have a link to a blog called Labor and Deliverance, a fascinating and humorous blog written by a male OBGYN based in the States.  His description reads:

“Over 50 tired guy who thinks his job is the greatest one on earth. Assisting a mother’s delivery is one of the few times man gets to help God with a miracle.”

He is a natural birth advocate and therefore considered something of a renegade in the medical system that he works in.  I’ve always particularly enjoyed his posts because it’s unusual to read the medical perspective and he has a great caustic sense of humour about his job, his patients, his colleagues and the US medical system as a whole.

He posted his final blog entry last night because he feels he has no choice but to give up.  Here’s why:

  • He mentioned in a recent post that a labouring mother who had wanted a natural birth but was being pressured into a C-section ended up having the birth that she wanted because the doors to the operating theatre accidentally got locked with the mother inside the theatre on her own and the medical team outside looking in.  Opportunistic lawyers read his post and did their level best to find the mother he mentioned to encourage her to take a legal case against the hospital.
  • He attended to a frightened woman who had missed her last two antenatal appointments because at 36 weeks her doctor told her he wanted to induce her at 38 weeks.  When she declined the doctor tried to frightened her with stories about stillbirths.  She ended up having the delivery that she wanted but a senior partner was upset by how events unfolded and the loss of potential medical fees.  The nurse who assisted in the delivery was fired and rehired on half her wages and Dr Labor and Deliverance finds himself on call every second weekend with the rest of the registered nurses afraid to work with him for fear of the consequences.
  • People who dislike his medical style and his blog have been harrassing the owners of the blogs that he has in his blogroll and leaving abusive comments.

Although I am very sad to see this blog go, there is something deeply disturbing about the real life events that have transpired here.  A woman lost her job.  A man is being vilified and punished by his colleagues and the medical establishment for advocating for his patients and not extracting the maximum fees possible from their health insurance policies.  Pregnant women are suffering a clear injustice here in favour of making money.  I find it frightening to be honest.  It makes me glad I don’t have to have my babies in the US.

If you have a few minutes, I would recommend browsing through his archive before it’s taken down.  I do hope he decides to leave it up even if he doesn’t post anymore because apart from anything else, it serves as an historical record.

What do you think?