Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Response 11/10

I found this week's readings on childbirth very interesting, enlightening, and--I'm not going to lie--a little unnerving! I feel like childbirth is somewhat romanticized in our society. Sure, we are constantly hearing and talking about how excruciatingly painful labor is for the mother; however, I think the many dangers involved in childbirth for both the mother and the child are downplayed and pushed somewhat underground. Reading "The New Yorker" article by Atual Gawande and Henci Goer's response to it, I was extremely eye-opening to read about all the different types of problems that can occur and the many risks involved in different procedures for the mother and child.

I was also shocked by how in the mid 1900's, "babies who were born malformed or too small or just blue and not breathing well were listed as stillborn, placed out of sight, and left to die" (Gawande). I was repulsed by the fact that doctors could give up on babies so quickly and easily. Thank goodness the "Apgar score" was invented, which allowed the condition of newborn babies to be rated on a zero to ten scale and "required observation and documentation of the true condition of every baby" (Gawande). However, Gawande then goes on to say that "even if only because doctors are competitive, it droev them to want to produce better scores--and therefore better outcomes--for the newborns they delivered." I was once again disgusted--if doctors are only properly caring for and evaluating newborn children in order to be "top doctor" and "win," we have some serious problems.

1 comment:

  1. I also was shocked to read that babies who were premature in the 1900s were simply left to the side to die instead of being cared for and nurtured back to health. It is difficult to picture competitive doctors simply giving up on a child's life. As medicine improved however, and the Apgar score began to be applied to evaluating the health of newborns, it is comforting to see doctors competing to produce better results. Regardless of their motivations, doctors are competing to deliver the healthiest babies possible, which produces fully functioning children that will someday grow up to change the world.