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Old 09-08-2010, 04:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Birth Rape?!

Quote:
(NEWSER) – The mothers of the world are mad, and they're not going to take it anymore. A growing movement against "birth rape" is placing institutions on notice that women in labor oppose any vaginal intrusion by "fingers, hands, suction cups, forceps, needles and scissors" without consent, notes the Sydney Morning Herald. Uncaring, sometimes brutal physical examinations often traumatize vulnerable laboring women, notes birthtalk.com, which defines "birth rape" as anything that "crosses decent boundaries."

Critics have called the assumption that doctors can examine women in labor whenever and how ever they please "institutional violence against women." One blogger complained: "The tools of birth rape are wielded with as much force and as little consent as if a stranger grabbed a passer-by off the street and tied her up before having his way with her."

Women Battle 'Birth Rape' - Uncaring, brutal exams can traumatize laboring moms
A similar, extended article can be found here:

Birth Trauma Can Cause Women to Develope PPD & PTSD - Associated Content - associatedcontent.com

-----

I stumbled across this on Fark today. If a quick search hadn't turned similar articles from unaffiliated sources, I would have said this is satire. As a dude preparing to enter medical school, I have no idea where to begin addressing (in a civil way) the comparison of standardized medical procedures to RAPE. Examining a woman while she is in labor is "institutionalized violence against women"?! Are you kidding me?!

I have to study for a Chem exam and will lay out my thoughts on this later. In the meantime, what are your thoughts? Is there any validity to this or is it absolute nonsense? Has a moral boundary been crossed by comparing the birthing process to RAPE?
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Old 09-08-2010, 04:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think as someone who hasnt had a kid, I cant really fully comment on the overall issue.

There are things I feel I can have a view on without experience, and things I think require it.

But I will say when the term "rape" is used in this way - which may or may not try to address a valid issue in general terms about issues around childbirth and clinical assumptions that are made - it is rather insulting and offensive to people who have really suffered that violent rape.
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Old 09-08-2010, 04:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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On the surface it sounds like nonsense. It makes me think that maybe mothers should be charged with sexual assault against the newborn. But that's just silly.

I think there are a number of issues surrounding gynecology and this same topic: clinical expectations, boundaries, and common practices.

A part of me thinks this is a bad path to follow, as I imagine it would mostly serve to impede the best quality medical care.
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Old 09-08-2010, 04:51 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The issue is who defines what is the best quality medical care perhaps?

A male dominated medical profession, or the women who give birth?

But while I agree that there is a debate to be had, it is not a debate about rape.
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Old 09-08-2010, 04:56 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Who decides on medical care? I don't think it's best to let patients have too much power. I'd rather leave things to medical professionals....doctors, researchers, and the like. After all, we don't let passengers dictate how air travel should work. We leave that to pilots, researchers, etc.

While the medical field is likely still dominated by men, a good number of women are working in it. I don't think it's a case where men are solely deciding how childbirth occurs in hospitals.
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Old 09-08-2010, 05:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Doctor 1: "The baby is stuck, we have to go in."
Doctor 2: "Don't touch her! She'll sue for rape."

In another scenario, I have the baby coming out all messed up because the doctors couldn't touch her, meaning they couldn't give her the best medical care. This imagined "rape" could make some doctors fear for their jobs if they don't do what is deemed right or wrong by these laboring mothers. A good comparison would be a police officer seeing a suspect reach for a weapon but hesitating because they get scared of what will happen when they shoot the guy. Of course the life/death seriousness of the police officers job is much higher than a supposed rape accusation against a doctor.

Brutal treatment in labor? They are in labor, I would think if it doesn't hurt then something is wrong. Regarding the PTSD thing, I bet the women had prior issues and possible negative happenings after the birth (baby is sick, etc.)

What's next? Police can't handcuff people anymore? Schools can't suspend kids? This is just another BS claim in a long line of former (and future) BS claims.

For the record, I'm not sure if a baby could get stuck in birth, it just made for good dialogue in my scenario.
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Old 09-08-2010, 06:48 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Birth rape probably isn't the best term, but I understand how certain women who their husbands and maybe Ob/Gyn are the only people who have seen them naked might not like a whole bunch of random strangers (who have her best intentions at heart) poking around and touching her. The doctors may have seen thousands of women, so it might be hard for them to understand why one womans beliefs on this are different from another.
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Old 09-08-2010, 07:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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A woman is vulnerable during labor. In hospital settings, they are often on drugs that further impair their judgment and ability to respond as they might otherwise prefer. Consent is often assumed. Women are not given time to process the implications and weigh the risks of the procedures that they are urged to undergo because the medical staff is focused on the health of the baby above any discomfort faced by the mother.

There is a small but growing movement of women who are choosing to have a doula present as they enter labor to provide emotional support and to help facilitate in the communication of their wishes to the medical staff. I have two friends who have attended schooling (beyond their bachelors in biology) and are professional doulas.

If you have an hour or so and are interested in gaining a bit more insight on these and similar matters, I recommend the documentary entitled, "The Business of Being Born."
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Old 09-08-2010, 08:39 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I don't know...what? I just don't get the world anymore.

I mean, isn't it already expected that a doctor is going to be somewhat intrusive during the birth? I've never gone through the process but I'd assume like any medical procedure that whats going to happen has already been long since explained and thus consent is given. I get having a second in command to help make decisions in the heat of the moment when the mother is all drugged up but if you don't want them pocking and prodding maybe that should have come up in the 9 months prior?

"WOAH why are you reaching in there?!?!?!!?! I'm just giving birth!!"

It reminds me of that episode of family guy when Peter sues the doctor over a prostate examine because he thought it was rape.
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:04 PM   #10 (permalink)
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My wife just gave birth to our first child June 28th this year. I was present for the entire experience so I might have a little insight. Also, many (many) of my similar aged friends are having children as well and we swap stories.

In terms of consent, consent for everything is given in writing. Universal experience amongst folks I have talked to. It's actually almost annoying having to sign forms between contractions. I can't imagine how my wife felt about it. We were at the hospital 3 times (my wife went into labor 6 weeks early) and each and every time the very first thing we did was sign a blanket consent form which covered everything that may need to be done during a birth. A woman in labor MUST consent to be treated as her condition in no way debilitates her into a state that consent ordinarily could be assumed. Every time an option was presented, it was presented with a consent form. It was also made clear that consent can be withdrawn at any time. To that point: My wife withdrew her consent for the episiotomy after the scissors had started to close.

Not to mention the mountain of legal requirements and the fact that 75% of what takes place in a hospital anymore is just for the hospital to cover it's ass.

When doctors/midwives/nurses come into the room, yes they are very...abrupt with the examinations.

There are a couple factors at play: 1-The person who is responsibly for your labor may also be responsible for multiple other labors. Speed is important.
2-The person has also probably ha their hands in thousands of vaginas. You get over it after a little while, trust me. I can see how it makes people uncomfortable, but having to stop and ask consent every single time before you touch a woman in labor is unreasonable.

Pearl Trade - Babies absolutely can and do get stuck during labor.
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Old 09-09-2010, 03:43 AM   #11 (permalink)
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I'm sorry, but this has got to be one of the most asinine comparisons ever made. Childbirth is actually a natural, common occurrence. Happens to women all over the world every day. Those in developed societies usually choose to have the birth in medical facility, where there is medical support in the case of some sort of unusual situation. Emphasis on choose. I am unaware of laws that require women to deliver at a hospital.

If you choose (or even if it's the more realistic situation that you are coerced by societal pressures) to deliver at a hospital, then don't complain about what the hospital staff do. They aren't out to make your life miserable or to traumatise you. It's the freaking opposite. These are caring, dedicated professionals whose intentions are entirely to protect the mother's and newborn's health.

If you have a life-threatening medical situation and are taken to a hospital, they aren't going to be gentle. They are going to do what needs to be done to asses the situation and deal with it in order to: 1) save your life; 2) prevent/minimise negative outcomes, and; 3) reduce/minimise/eliminate your pain. Your dignity and modesty are a minor concern to them faced with more pressing issues. Now childbirth is indeed not life-threatening in the vast majority of cases, but when you're at a hospital, it's still a medical issue. It is, by the way, the area of nursing work where there is the lowest staff turnover because it is one of the few areas that is almost entirely a HAPPY occasion.

When my second son was born, there was a 15-yo girl job shadowing the delivery room nurse. At the time of delivery, my wife was asked if she minded if the young girl remained present for the actual delivery. My wife said no problem, she was basically on display for the whole world, wanted it over with, and that the young girl had been wonderfully attentive throughout the labour, so why not? I expected her to remain up near my wife's head where I was. Instead, she crouched behind the obstetrician (so help me she looked like a home-plate umpire leaning over a catcher at a baseball game!), who kept up a steady, calm explanation of the wonderful experience that she was observing... the start of a new life. What I thought might be a bit too intense for a young girl turned out to be an exciting experience for her, and she was thrilled to hold a 5-minute old baby in her arms and present him to his mother.

The women who feel they are experiencing "birth rape" are part of a new phenomenon in the world... people LOOKING for insult/injury where none exists or was certainly intended.
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Old 09-11-2010, 11:05 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wes Mantooth View Post
It reminds me of that episode of family guy when Peter sues the doctor over a prostate examine because he thought it was rape.



"...people LOOKING for insult/injury where none exists or was certainly intended." - GreyWolf

Beyond these mutually supporting points I got nothing except my opinion that any woman who would claim "birth rape" should have her head examined.
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Old 09-11-2010, 12:25 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walt View Post
A similar, extended article can be found here:

Birth Trauma Can Cause Women to Develope PPD & PTSD - Associated Content - associatedcontent.com

-----

I stumbled across this on Fark today. If a quick search hadn't turned similar articles from unaffiliated sources, I would have said this is satire. As a dude preparing to enter medical school, I have no idea where to begin addressing (in a civil way) the comparison of standardized medical procedures to RAPE. Examining a woman while she is in labor is "institutionalized violence against women"?! Are you kidding me?!

I have to study for a Chem exam and will lay out my thoughts on this later. In the meantime, what are your thoughts? Is there any validity to this or is it absolute nonsense? Has a moral boundary been crossed by comparing the birthing process to RAPE?
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Old 09-12-2010, 11:17 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Fine, have your kid on the kitchen table then if that makes you feel better.
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Old 09-14-2010, 04:52 AM   #15 (permalink)
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So many insensitive men responding to this thread. I wish another woman would weigh in on this topic.
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Old 09-14-2010, 05:48 AM   #16 (permalink)
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While I am sure that a woman is of course very vulnerable, exhausted, emotional, etc... at that moment, every second counts during, every moment is important and we have to put our faith in our doctor to help deliver hopefully a healthy child, and a healthy mother as well. It is essential for both that things are done as easy, quick as possible. I can understand the vulnerability that most come at that moment, but rape, is a huge leap to use that term.

And if this movement happens, I will say that we will in the future have fewer OBGYN doctors.

I have friends who are OBGYN doctors in NJ, with the current malpractice rules that exist, if they get sued once, EVEN if is all false, the increase in the insurance costs will put them out of business. Between that and being nervous of of rape, I am sure they will stop delivering babies.
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Old 09-14-2010, 07:14 PM   #17 (permalink)
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This thread kinda reminded me of this thread in the Ladies Lounge:

http://www.tfproject.org/tfp/ladies-...-violated.html

Personally, I feel that if women want more control over what happens to them during birth, they should consider doing it at home with a nurse-midwife if it's not a high-risk pregnancy, or using a birthing center associated with a hospital. I think mostly what these women are protesting against is the medicalization of birth, which I think is a legitimate protest, but to equate a medicalized birth to rape is ridiculous and makes the movement look bad.
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Old 09-14-2010, 10:24 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Rape is a very harsh word that it carries very ugly connotations, such a vile and violent act shouldn't be trivialized like this. The whole idea of a doctor "raping" his patients in the delivery room by following medical procedures in an insult to those who have actually been raped and rather insulting to the medical profession as well. Maybe something can be said for gentler procedures, doctors making sure the process is fully explained or proper counseling before a mother ends up in the delivery room but holy heck I agree with snowy the term is ridiculous and has probably done more to make what might be valid criticisms of the process into a joke.
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Old 10-02-2010, 01:29 PM   #19 (permalink)
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this thread makes me think of this



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Old 10-02-2010, 06:22 PM   #20 (permalink)
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As a woman who has given birth, I can speak from experience that there are many things that can happen that are unplanned. I had my birth plan and my doctor followed is as closely as medically possible. Some things had to be rethought out. I feel like everything that was done, was done for the safety of myself and my baby. Although, I do think that pitocin is overused. If I could have gone with out it, I would have.

Birthing in a hospital is a business, and I believe women can be taken advantage of. But likening it to rape is.. well, asinine. It's not rape. As a pregnant woman, it is your duty to do your research and find a doctor who you are comfortable with. I can see their side of the argument, that doctor's are taking advantage of women. But if you're concerned about rape, you have security walk you to your car. If you're concerned about birth rape, you do your research and you have someone you trust with you in the delivery room to help look after your best interests. People want to blame everyone else instead of taking the time to educate and protect themselves.
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Old 10-02-2010, 07:35 PM   #21 (permalink)
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As a man who watched in awe as the three separate births of his children occurred:

(in a hospital, using a midwife):


& openly disrespecting those who want to be victims, this tune is what it felt like.
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Old 10-02-2010, 08:21 PM   #22 (permalink)
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I'm with all the insensitive men here. I think this is Awesome. With a capital A.

Totally for this movement. That's right, Civil Rights... let's take it back to the stone age here.

This is good. Less doctors, less children. I'm all for pregnant women being left alone in agony.

...

I wish UsTwo was still here so I could ask him about how it feels to be a mouth rapist.

Last edited by Plan9; 10-02-2010 at 08:23 PM..
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