Friday, August 31, 2007

Coroner: Major Change Required in Quebec Midwifery

MONTREAL - A Quebec coroner is calling for major changes to the practice of midwifery in the province following the "preventable" death of a baby boy during a home birth in Montreal last year.

The baby, Siloan Lorrain, had asphyxiated from his meconium -- a greenish-black stool passed by newborns -- before the birth, yet the midwives were unaware of the danger at the time, coroner Paul Dionne concluded.

And when the baby was born not breathing, they also failed to properly intubate him.

Dr. Dionne also blasted the Quebec Order of Midwives, accusing the professional organization of failing to enforce standards and not investigating the incident promptly.

"Upon examining this case, the order must ask itself serious questions as to how ... it can better assure quality of care," Dr. Dionne

Cathie comments:

One of the most dangerous journeys we will ever take is down the birth canal. But in our recent zeal to make every human event into a kinder, gentler, personal growth experience, many now seem to think that women would have a better time giving birth at home with midwives instead of in hospital -- so cold and clinical and "medical" , you know.

What we cannot forget is this: the goal of childbirth is not that the mother should have a good birth experience.

The goal is that the baby should be born alive and healthy.

- Garry J. Wise, Toronto
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