Reading Atul Gawande’s article definitely made my stomach turn. The article started off chronicling the story of a woman named Elizabeth Rourke, a pregnant women nearing her due date. Rourke is a medical intern therefore is very knowledgeable about child birth. She wrestled with the idea of hiring a birth coach to stay in the delivery room with her the entire time so she would have someone in her corner. She wanted to have a natural birth. she is not scared of the pain but since she has witnessed so many child births and has seen the process, she is scared of losing the ability to choose what she has done to her. GWande then goes into the complicated process of childbirth comparing and contrasting human child birth to those of other mammals. This is where my stomach started to turn a little I was given way more details then I cared to read. Gwande talks about how dangerous childbirth could be for both the mother and the child. As time passed medical advancements were made to help prevent some of these potentially fatal situations. Hooks, clamps and other pointed instruments were implemented to help deliver babies. Doctors were often placed in difficult situations, there number one priority was to save the mother but sometimes that meant killing the baby.
The Apgar score was implemented in order for doctors to do their best job when delivering new borns. Gwande even states that even if the doctors did not care about delivcering a healthy baby they would care about their score which was a direct reflection on them. Rourke ended up having to abort her plan of an all natural birth and took epidurals she ended up having a C section her baby was successfully delivered. Gwande then goes into detail explaining the risks of such a procedure. Was the goal to make money or deliver the child safely? Natural births no longer seem like a viable option to women with medicine being the number one option.
In The article how childbirth went industrial Goer criticizes Gwande’s article. Goer’s main argument is that obstetric packages offered in hospitals has not decreased infant mortality rate, but has instead increased fatality. Goer also attacks C sections stating that in most cases there are lower fatality rates associated with vaginal births than with C sections. She also argues that not only are C sections safer for the child but they are also safer for the mother. I thought it was interesting that Goer calls Rourke foolish while her pregnancy did not go as planned I feel like she was placed in a difficult position and did a good job managing her stress and adjusting to what needed to be done. While I do believe that child birth should be somewhat standardized I also believe that it should be handled on a case by case basis. I do not believe unregulated risky procedures should be implemented just because the doctor feels it is in the women’s best interest. All of this just goes back to taking the power of decision from women.