Look, I am entirely in favor of the medical establishment. I argue in favor of many aspects of the American medical system (although its funding and pricing system clearly needs a lot of work). In arguments with my daughter-of-a-homeopath ex-girlfriend, I was constantly taking the side of Western medical practices, or “allopathy” as she referred to it. I’m a big believer in the scientific method, and although I freely admit that the medical establishment almost certainly has blind spots, I believe that they become smaller every year, and that if there is a truth out there, we’ll discover it eventually.
And I’ve said, on multiple occasions, that the only two professions that I want completely staffed with arrogant-as-all-get-out, completely 100% egotistical dicks, are fighter pilots and surgeons, because if I am lying on a table, with my sternum split in half, and some guy’s hands are around my beating heart, I want him to be damn sure that he’s not going to make a mistake.
At the same point in time, there’s a fine line between appropriate confidence in your methods and outright making shit up to justify your own existence. And, via Feministing comes news that the American Medical Association recently passed a resolution calling for a law to be passed outlawing home births. You can read a more thorough rundown of the issues involved here.
I am quite obviously not an expert in these matters, as I lack either any formal medical training or a womb, cervix, or vaginal canal (so far as I know.) Additionally, I am completely biased, since my mother worked in a birth center (sort of a non-medical hospital for natural childbirth) all through my formative years, and I saw more videos of more births before the age of 12 than, well, just more than is right.
I’m in favor of necessitating licensing for midwifery, if only because there are quite clearly situations where medical intervention is going to be necessary, and I want to be damn sure that a midwife knows when to make that call. But the fact is, being pregnant is not an illness, and giving birth is, in the majority of cases, nowhere near as dangerous as surgery. If it makes the expectant mother more comfortable to be in her home, or in a birth center where she feels like the focus of attention, rather than one sick person among thousands, then the A.M.A. should really suck it, and let the poor woman be, then get back to really important stuff, like coming up with some new, really expensive cosmetic surgery that they can sell her in a few years so she can get her pre-baby body back.