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How to Respond to Bad Hospital Treatment

Easy Steps to a Safer Pregnancy - View e-book or Download PDF - FREE!
An interactive resource for moms on easy steps they can take to reduce exposure to chemical toxins during pregnancy.

Other excellent resources about avoiding toxins during pregnancy

These are easy to read and understand and are beautifully presented.

To complain about incompetent medical treatment, send a REGISTERED letter to:

  1. the Medical Chief of Staff at the hospital
  2. the Chairman of the OB-GYN medical staff
  3. the county medical association
  4. the insurance company.
More drastic measures would include:
  1. the state Board of Medical Examiners or other state licensing agency
  2. ACOG - The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, 409 12th St., S.W., PO Box 96920, Washington, D.C. 20090-6920

If people are looking for a way to respond to this kind of extreme situation, a way to prevent the same kind of things from happening again, it's worth calling the hospital and asking who leads the Medical Ethics committee there. Talking in private with her or him, telling the story and expressing your concern might be really useful. When you do this, you can ask the Medical Ethics committee leader if he would promise not to say where he got the info. before you'll tell him what it is. That way you don't become a focus of attention or a scapegoat for anyone who’s feeling defensive. He can bring these issues up in the committee and they will probably get discussed very seriously. The hospital may come up with protocols to prevent similar treatment. (Although I can't believe they don't already have them.) For example, they may decide that vacuum extractors may only be used when the baby is below a certain station in the mother's pelvis, or that if a patient says she's not numb enough, you do thus-and-so to make sure she's got adequate anesthesia. If they already have protocols about these things, they can make sure everyone is aware of them and that not following them is unacceptable. Using this approach, the doula gets her concerns addressed by someone who has the power to do something about them. By remaining anonymous, the doula avoids polarizing the situation, and avoids drawing unpleasant attention toward herself. I've only used this approach once, about 10 years ago. I gave the committee leader info showing that it might be unethical for a hospital not to allow VBAC, and they started letting people VBAC soon after that. (Before that, their one doctor who did VBAC did all his VBACs at another hospital.) I seemed to work well to approach the committee leader with the attitude of "I'm worried about this, and I thought you might be interested.", rather than "This is horrible! These guys are inhumane!".

This Web page is referenced from another page containing related information about Transfer of Care - Transport


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