Amidst all the predictable power based rhetoric about birth place and care provider from the Australian doctors' union, led by the self appointed arbiter on women's choice and midwives' freedom to practice, Dr Andrew Pesce, there is a beacon of light on the subject from British Columbia
The College of Physicians and Surgeons of British Columbia have just released their position statement, which says:
The College’s Position
The College supports a woman’s right to personal autonomy and decision making in obstetrical care.
Planned-Home-Births.pdf (application/pdf Object)
Updated November 2009
Board Approved December 2009
Although this statement does not go as far as saying that homebirth is safe and that homebirth is a wise choice, as the evidence from around the world clearly demontrates it is, the statement does provide an indication that at last (some) doctors are officially recognising that women are autonomous and have rights. This recognition of women's rights is a step in the right direction for a profession which has traditionally, well, at least for the last couple of hundred years or so, positioned itself as the powerful elite.
This statement is refreshing news and makes Dr Andrew Pesce's posturing on his ability to influence The Australian Minister of Health, the Honourable Nicola Roxon to remove and restrict choice in both birth place and practitioner for childbearing women and limit the practice of midwives, appear as sad, pathetic and out of step with evidence informed practice as it is.
Not only has Dr Pesce got his sights on controlling midwives and birthing women, he and his other unionists are also seeking to deprive the Australian public of another group of excellent health professionals, the Nurse Practitioners. Australia has seen the 'turf wars' raging for several decades now, as doctors use power tactics to keep control of the health system and ensure nurses, midwives, patients and childbearing women remain subservient.
However, the winds of change are blowing.
The disgraceful thing is that while some Australian doctors seek to live in a time warp and glorify the days when doctors were gods, nurses and midwives were handmaidens and patients and childbearing women were subservient by undermining initiatives to improve choice and access to optimal health care, they will unnecessarily hamper true progress in health and health care provision.