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Just a quick Wednesday morning grrr before moving on to the important things. As I was crossing the road with the Wee Weapons (my 7 year old twins), a car turned the corner and then indicated. Why would he do that? Had no-one told him that you signal your intention and then you manoeuvre? Clearly not. Having just missed us, he carried on his merry way. Bless him.
As you can imagine, I began thinking. Stop that! I do think occasionally, you know.
It brought back to mind some of the births that I had attended where different people did different things and no-one seemed to know what, when or why. A few years ago, I was at the birth of twin boys in a large teaching hospital. Mum was labouring away but the midwives would not allow her to move about because they wanted to do continual monitoring of the foetal heart rates as standard, despite her wanting intermittent monitoring. Hospital policy was quoted and my lady was ignored. This monitoring prevented her from moving about freely. Every time she moved, one of the monitors would slip and they would lose one of the heartrates. She was told off by midwives and, in the end, when the lack of movement caused an increase in her discomfort, she had an epidural. The midwives were happy. Now there would be no movement from Mum. After a while a doctor came in. She was unhappy with monitoring and asked to examine my lady. Suddenly she told us that she had attached a foetal scalp electrode. There had been no discussion, no explanation, just a simple 'turning before indicating'.
Whilst in hospital, the day after the Wee Weapons were born, I woke to two doctors standing over me. They were consulting their charts and getting ready to take the WWs away. They looked at me and told me that it was time for the WWs' insulin shots. I asked them why, only to be told that they were diabetic and needed it. I explained that my twins weren't diabetic and the doctors looked at me as though I was crazy. When I told them our names, the second doctor looked at the first and they walked away. No apology, no explanation. The next day I woke to see a midwife wheeling the Wee Weapons out of the room. I asked her where they were going. She told me that they needed phototherapy as they were jaundiced. I told her that they were not. She told me that they were. I reminded her of our names and she left. Again, no apology.
It is important that we all use informed consent. When our Health Care Practitioners tell us that they wish to perform tests and procedures, we need to remember to ask the question why and when we have not been asked, we need channel our inner Mary Cronk and say “STOP THIS AT ONCE”.