17 December, 2008

obstetric rape at Rush

sad story about a woman who suffered needlessly during the birth of her fifth child.

the doctor, who was not her regular OB:

-belittled, intimidated and verbally abused everyone around him: residents, nurses, colleagues on the phone, and the patient and her husband.

-chatted loudly on his cell phone about abortions and a woman who "has no business being pregnant", while in his laboring patient's room! I have heard countless nurses and midwives make unnecessary side chatter during labor, even midwives who claim that they never talk during labor, but this guy wins the insensitivity prize by a mile.

-deliberately withheld pain medication after it had been requested by the patient AND the anesthesiologist had already been called to the floor

-deliberately placed the patient in an uncomfortable position, causing her great pain and stressing a preexisting injury

-performed a rough and painful vaginal exam despite her pleas for him to stop

-artificially ruptured membranes without patient consent, and then lied to the resident that they had ruptured spontaneously

-repeatedly told the patient that she was going to hemorrhage (based on zero evidence) and that she and her baby would die

-inserted a catheter during a contraction, ignoring her requests to wait until it had subsided

-continuously exhorted the patient to "shut up and push" after he determined her cervix to be 8 cm dilated, rather than waiting for it to open completely and a spontaneous pushing urge to develop (I would wager he has rarely, if ever, witnessed a spontaneous pushing urge!)

-nearly dropped the baby

-would not allow the mother or father to hold their healthy baby immediately

-called for a larger-gauge needle than is normally stocked by that hospital's L & D for injecting local anesthesia into her perineum. periurethral repair was performed in a very painful manner. requests for more anesthesia were ignored.

-told a nurse he had denied this patient any analgesia because "sometimes pain is the best teacher."

I am 'trying real hard to be the shepherd', i.e. trying not to proclaim that what this doctor needs is a hefty dose of his own medicine. An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

This, folks, is why some women will not set foot in a hospital to give birth. Is anyone listening?!

note: some of these details come from the official complaint filed in Cook County Circuit Court.

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