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Victim Mentality in the Birth Machine

June 21, 2011

Victim’s Mentality in the Birth Machine

Phillip White

The abuse by the Obstetrics profession in America often goes unchallenged by women because they feel disempowered.  How can one woman do anything to reform such a gigantic industry?  Women may have a few friends to console them, but they do not at all feel connected to the over 4 million other pregnant women who birth each year in the United States.  The victims often develop classical symptoms when they are trampled by (as Marsden Wagner states) the Birth Machine.  The system itself is filled with a veneer of professionalism that cannot see that its practices are suspect, that its victims are health care consumers who have a right to protest poor service and practice.

When women do stand up, they are often depreciated, mocked and even verbally abused.  “How dare you challenge the institution of the hospital, how dare you question Dr.  So-and-So’s work?”  This mentality permeates the medical practices in America, not just when it comes to birth.  When a woman has done her research and knows her stuff, and can dispute medical advice of the staff, facility and or doctor, the institutional response is unquestioning authoritarian and imposes all sorts of psychological tactics all that accumulate with one resounding message:  Medicine is faultless.

Unlike any other form of service, medicine is controlled by a group of men who control their profession’s ethics and power base with little meddling by the government or by their self-governing body, known as ACOG.  It is the individual corporations and the private practices that self-manage their own work.  They operate with little outside influences such as grass root advocacy groups or even the law.

Due to the lack of accountability, possibly only civil lawsuits can bring to a halt some horrific acts of a doctors or a medical group.  Even the FDA refuses to try to direct these decentralized associations of professionals to control the use of harmful drugs used during inductions (they only offer suggestions), though those drugs have been involved in the death of women and their babies; no one seems to be able to stop this dreadful medical practice.

However, this piece is about the victimization of those consumers who raise the shout at the birth machine and challenges its behemoth power.  When people are victimized, they expect some sort of advocacy on their behalf.  But within the power structure they are told that they should be happy with their births, that they are being spoiled; doctor’s accuse them of being narcissistic and that their patients had the best medical practice in America .

The problem is inherent to the system of deceit wound at the core of the psychology of the making of doctors in America.  The institution is so filled with its own value, class distinction, and its own ego, that the system has bred an attitude of superiority and elitism.  Just like other American educational systems, there are tiers of schools, classes of doctors, and even societies of professional power and influence.  The top medical schools and the hell through which they basically drive their interns and students of medicine are filled with hazing and abuse.  The demands placed on these doctors are sick psychologically and engender a form of psychotic fear and reverence.

It is true that a good doctor’s skill can save lives and improve the quality of life of his or her patients.  But when those doctor’s practices are questioned, they have not been trained to be questioned.  The teaching physicians are not to be questioned either.  Doctors have spent years learning how to practice medicine, so how dare the consumer raise sound or unsound questions when they are being cared for?

This unnatural belief in one’s rightness, advanced knowledge, and years of practice, is, of course, bred in those years of training.  They are built into the fabric of the American way of life for the most part.

Women are just the stupid, uneducated masses who should just be thankful they are in the good (God) hands of the surgeon; thus say the worshippers in this sagacious and honorable establishment.

Is it any wonder that the victims are wallowed whole by this whole system of thought about medicine.  The victims, like abused women who refuse to testify against their own violent alcoholic wife-beating husbands, can’t see any hope or any other way.  The propaganda of medicine tells women that a caesarian section is as good as any birth, or that their children were saved by surgery.  The women who feel violated and emotionally upset by not being able to deliver vaginally are often told how inappropriate their feelings are.  Those completely sucked into the lies of the institution will parrot back, “Thank God for the Obstetrician, else my baby would have died.”

Most people are not going to challenge the Birth Machine.  They are already programmed not to question, not to do the research.  As P.T. Barnum stated “a sucker is born every minute.”

Do Women feel comfortable with mirrors and smoke?  Do they believe that birth is an emergency.  It’s is quite a social phenomenon.  1.4 million women have their babies a year by abdominal incision, and half of them are unknowningly lead by the nose by doctors to have inductions which lead to those surgeries.  Obstetricians are surgeons, and they make more money for their institutions and their businesses if they deliver the babies by using their surgical skills.  They can also plan their schedules better so they can go home for dinner, and not sit around for that woman to deliver her child.

And the men out there, they too are suckers, and fall for the mythos of doctor knows best.  It is quite a rare man out there in society who questions any of this paradigm of medical inerrancy.  Yet, men do listen when it comes to explaining the situation in terms of health care as a consumer product.  When men see the figures, the gross and obvious plan of doctors to control birth by drugs, interventions and surgeries to maintain the cost effectiveness to the health organization, then they might start challenging the institution’s authority and dominion and help medical institutions reform, but someone has to educate them.  Thus the reason for writing Men at Birth.  You may also read excerpts at

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