I am writing with deep sympathy for the family who lost their baby in late 2010, and for the midwives and doctors who attended the mother.
I am writing about this because the Melbourne Coroner is currently hearing evidence from the various parties. In time the Coroner's report will be published. The Coroner's job is to find out what happened, in a respectful and unbiased way. At present fragments of information have been published in newspapers and online news sites. Some pieces of the information circulating in the media are factual, while others are contested.
I am writing because this case raises issues that are similar to a case that I wrote about a couple of months ago.
It is difficult for me to write. I know the midwives; they are my colleagues, and we have shared in professional and personal journeys over the years. I know the hospital; I have been there with women many times over the years. I know the mother, who was a member of a peer support group I facilitated a few years ago.
The big issues as I understand this and similar cases are around a midwife's duty of care, a woman's decision-making, and the need for women to be able to feel respected in maternity hospitals.
The questions that I asked in my previous post are still pertinent:
"If a mother does not want to go to hospital, when overwhelming professional advice would want her to give birth in hospital, WHY?", and
"What can be done to make going to hospital a more acceptable choice for women for whom complex obstetric care may become necessary?"
I have many thoughts that I will not make public at present.