the important and the not-so-important, horribly conflated.

Babies Babies Babies

In human behavior on May 14, 2010 at 4:40 pm

The Good

I need to see this movie. Now.

The Bad

New York has no legal midwifes. With Infant Mortality stats shamefully high in the US and at decade-long plateau that reflects the exhaustion of medical innovations to prevent neonatal death, we need to be trying something different. This is not the right direction:

This city of more than 8 million people, with its reputation for being at the cutting-edge of modern urban living, now lacks a single midwife legally permitted to help women have a baby in their own homes. “It’s pretty shocking that in a city where you can get anything any hour of the day a person cannot give birth at home with a trained practitioner,” said Elan McAllister, president of the New York-based Choices in Childbirth.

The collapse of New York’s legal home birth midwifery services has come as a result of the closure two weeks ago of one of the most progressive hospitals in the city, St Vincent’s in Manhattan. When the bankrupt hospital shut its doors on 30 April the midwives suddenly found themselves without any backing or support.

The Ugly

Is adoption, even in its most well-intentioned form, human trafficking? That’s the question posed by this only partly redemptive story about adoptions in Haiti from the New Yorker:

No one told Rose’s [the adopted child’s] mother that we were leaving. There was no time for Holt to inform her, or any of the other birth parents, what was happening, and, of course, we couldn’t meet her, as we had planned. We could only assume that she was O.K., because she lived far away from the epicenter, in the north, near Cap Haitien. This was what she had said she wanted—a better life for her Rose—and that was what we were committed to providing. And who were we to gainsay her decision to relinquish her child? One can argue that no decision made in the straits of crushing poverty can ever be truly free, but shouldn’t a woman, regardless of her circumstances, have the right to choose what she thinks is best for herself and her family?


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