Fillers A patient who changed my practice

The baby and the bathwater

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 23 October 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:1114
  1. Mary E Black, professor of public health, University of Queensland

    An obstetric post in rural Ireland in the mid 1980s convinced me that all births should take place in hospital. Indeed, I was the utterly convincing, friendly, woman doctor wheeled out to change the mind of the occasional weirdo, errant mother who wanted anything else. I was pretty good at cranking up from “softly, softly,” to the full blown “how can you put your baby at risk, you irresponsible excuse for a woman?” approach. I listened only to let them get it out of their system.

    Ten years later …

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