Monday, March 11, 2013

what the what, Hudson?!

Please see Stand and Deliver's recent blog post ( regarding new restrictive policies at Hudson Hospital in Hudson, WI. In a nutshell, the hospital is severely restricting the practice of its birthing staff, specifically mandating cesarean birth for all breech presentations (which were previously able to be delivered by a provider with many years of experinece in vaginal breech birth), as well clamping down on VBACs, waterbirths, etc. Below is the letter I'm sending out tomorrow in response to the new policy --- won't you join as well? (Also, please note that Rixa at Stand & Deliver is having a giveaway to thank those who join the campaign advocating for the women who delivery at Hudson --- join in!!) "Dear Ms. Hegelberg, I am writing to you in regards to the recent policy change in relation to birth practices at Hudson Hospital. As a certified nurse-midwife providing care to women throughout the lifespan, I am deeply saddened to learn of the new stance being taken by the leadership and administration at your facility, specifically as it relates to the withholding of informed consent to women during childbirth. According to Hudson Hospital's own "Patients Rights and Responsibilities", provided to each patient upon entrance into the care system, your patients are assured the right to be informed of care options, treatment plans, and alternatives; similarly, the document ensures patients they will be given the opportunity to consent to any procedure prior to its undertaking, as well as the right to refuse any treatment with informed consent. According to the newly released policy, the practice of employing medical interventions is a national standard, and implementing this will allow Hudson Hospital to become consistent with other regional and national centers; yet I am aware of no other facility which denies a patient the legal right to refuse any treatment which he or she deems unnecessary or inappropriate after receiving informed consent. Please recognize, Ms. Hegelberg, that this is a legal and moral right of all competent, informed individuals, and denying it would appear to be treading on a very fine ethical boundary. The announcement that Hudson hospital will be forcing medical interventions on women and infants, regardless of their informed consent or screams of refusal, is unacceptable. As a healthcare provider, I recognize the increasing pressure on providers to perform flawlessly and prevent any errors; I have heard far too many lectures on risk management "from leadership's point of view". Whether these measures are being initiated following increasing insurance rates, in an effort to increase reimbursement rates, or to avoid hypothetical bad outcomes (which according to multiple research articles are much more likely with surgical birth) - they are directly in contrast with Hudson Hospital's purported commitment to providing "excellent patient outcomes". I urge you, and the rest of the board, to reconsider this ban on vaginal breech births, increased restrictions on water births, and forced interventions. Should these restrictions stand, I strongly consider you to make all changes publicly known to the women who have utilized your facility in the past; relying on your obstetrical providers to relay this information to the women and families who will be most affected by these alterations (and who may be most likely to change their birthplace as a result) is neither fair nor appropriate. With respect for the birthing practices that have made Hudson Hospital a supportive, welcoming haven in the past, I will await your reply in the days to come. In the meantime. I will recommend other facilities (including those who support vaginal breech birth, particularly with the experienced hands of skilled providers as recommended by the 2006 American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists statement on the practice) to area women. Sincerely, {{me}}

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting your letter here! Oh, and the mandala pendant arrived yesterday--thanks! And tell your 6-yo thanks, too, for her bead.