Views & Reviews Review of the week

Labour pains

BMJ 2007; 335 doi: (Published 26 July 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;335:209
  1. Duncan Double, consultant psychiatrist, Norfolk Mental Health Care NHS Trust
  1. dbdouble{at}

    Wendy Savage, champion of women's rights in childbirth, is back with a polemical look at who controls birth and who controls doctors, writes Duncan Double

    In 1985 Wendy Savage made medical headlines when she was suspended from practice over charges of incompetence in managing five obstetric cases. The charges centred on births where she was accused of having delayed performing caesarean sections.

    After an inquiry conducted in the full blaze of publicity Savage was finally reinstated as senior lecturer in obstetrics and gynaecology at the London Hospital Medical College and honorary consultant at The London Hospital. A Savage Enquiry was her gripping account of these events. In it she wrote, “I and many of my supporters saw my suspension as part of the continuing struggle about who controls childbirth.”

    In this new book Savage describes for the first time what happened to her when she returned to work. The book focuses on the problems that arise when doctors disagree among themselves. …

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