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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Radical Midwifery in Holland

Rebekka Visser is a Dutch midwife who gave a presentation on 'Birth: a Human Rights issue?' at the Human Rights in Childbirth conference, convened a few weeks ago in The Hague.

Rebekka has posted the content of her presentation on Responsible Care (in English) at her blog.

It's worth a read! Rebekka explores why midwives seek to control birth.
Now should this mean that to my opinion all midwives must be willing to assist breech births at home? Or that all women must be willing to have their breech baby at home? 
Definitely not!
We need to open the dialogue about our own fears, work with it, finding solutions.


This conference brought together midwives, ethicists, lawyers, obstetricians, mothers, and others for two days, to consider and debate human rights in childbirth.  The event which drove the conference was the imprisonment of midwife Agnes Gereb, from Hungary, a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights.  Agnes was not present at the conference: she is under house arrest.

Australian midwifery is going through huge changes, and many midwives fear the escalation of authoritarian control over midwifery, and consequently, over women's rights in childbearing.

Regulation of midwifery can only be in the public interest when the system also promotes and protects the midwife's scope of practice professionally.  It's a balance that our society must continue to work towards.

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