I heard of a particularly nasty incident where a woman was made to suffer needlessly because of her doctor’s misogynist policies. There was a pregnant woman who had spinal rheumatoid arthritis and a herniated disk in her back. She suffered terribly, she wasn’t able to move or sleep, and the doctors who treated her back were of the opinion that she was unable to deliver the baby normally, and she should get a caesarean section.
However, the obstetrician denied her the section on the basis that a) no one tells him what to do and b) it was his belief that women should deliver babies in the way nature intended, whether or not they are capable. When the time of the delivery came, the obstetrician was very reluctant to give any treatment for the woman’s pains. Instead, he ridiculed and abused her. It was a very difficult delivery, even the midwives were so upset that in the end they screamed along with the suffering mother.
In the meantime, the obstetrician had gone home even though he was the doctor on duty in the labour room, and there was an emergency situation going on with this woman who should have had a c-section in the first place. When the delivery was over, the doctor came to see the woman, but not to make sure that everything was fine, but to abuse and ridicule her some more.
Then the baby had seizures, which the doctor wouldn’t treat until after the seizures had gone on for 20 minutes. Apparently the doctor procrastinated simply because of his antipathies towards the baby’s mother. Eventually the baby was given an emergency lift to another hospital. The baby had massive bleeding in the brain, due to difficult delivery. It’s too early to tell what permanent damage there will be, but even though I’m no doctor, it seems very likely that there is going to be fairly severe repercussions for the baby. And even if the baby manages to escape without lasting damage, the mother must be traumatised for the rest of her life!
In a disciplinary hearing the obstetrician denied that he had done anything wrong because he never makes mistakes and women should deliver babies naturally. He belittled the incident, saying “the baby didn’t even die!”
I can only speculate as to why and how something like this is possible in Finland, in 2012, but seeing as the hospital in question is in the North, in an area where Laestadians are numerous, it is possible that the doctor is Laestadian and acted on his religious beliefs rather than using his medical knowledge or even common sense. I have no idea if the doctor belongs to that revivalist movement or not, but his beliefs certainly echo the Laestadian ones.
There is a police investigation going on and I hope the bastard goes to jail. If a doctor can’t tell the difference between religion and medicine, then he or she shouldn’t be a doctor!