Saturday, February 21, 2009

The back story to the Times article

Pamela Paul, author of the Times article The Trouble With Repeat Cesareans, wrote another article in The Huffington Post: Childbirth Without Choice. This piece gives the back story of the Times article, including her own fight to have a VBAC in a supposedly "pro-VBAC" hospital.

She writes:
I wrote an article in this week's issue of Time magazine called "The Trouble With Repeat Cesareans" on the subject of women's diminishing patient's rights. I won't repeat the story here, since you can link to it here, but will give some of the back story for those who want more:

This was a story I've been wanting to write for a long time. The short version is, doctors and hospitals are no longer allowing many women to have a vaginal birth after cesarean (or VBAC, pronounced "vee-back") because the "medicolegal" costs are too high. Or, as one ob-gyn put it when I asked why she and other doctors no longer allow VBACs, ""It's a numbers thing. It is financially unsustainable for doctors, hospitals and insurers to engage in a practice when the cost of doing business way exceeds the payback. You don't get sued for doing a C-section; you get sued for not doing a C-section."

Read the rest of the article here.


  1. makes me want to throw-up. I'm glad she's writing and getting the word out-- WAKE UP PEOPLE!

  2. Quoting from the article about the malpractice insurance costs: "And those costs aren't even reasonable, but are largely in response to a few high-profile cases of VBACs gone awry dating back 10 years, many of which involved a labor-induction drug called Cytotec, which is no longer used during vaginal births after cesarean."

    This is another part of the whole debacle that really annoys me -- *who* is suing for not doing a C-section? I have a huge interest in the topic of birth and follow it fairly closely; I have never yet heard of a woman who actually sued a doctor for a vaginal birth gone wrong. And as this article mentions, those cases that *did* occur had the complicating factor of being grossly mismanaged VBACs in the first place.

    As for the number of women who'd *like* to sue for an unnecessary c-secion, I know there are hundreds of them, and when they start looking into what needs to be done they learn they've barely got a leg to stand on because they're supposed to be grateful they got a healthy baby and don't they know the doctor did everything they possibly could to ensure a safe vaginal birth? Bah.


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