I am disappointed by the Post-Gazette's treatment of the recent case against the midwife who was charged with a Bloomfield infant's death ("Judge Reluctantly Acquits Midwife," April 24). Even after losing the baby, this couple and many others like them continue to rely on midwives. The reason for this was fundamentally unexplored by the PG.
Some women choose to give birth with limited medical interventions and precautions. This may seem foolish -- why wouldn't someone do anything in order to guarantee the survival of their baby? Even if all goes wrong in the hospital, an emergency C-section can be performed. There are also fetal monitors, IVs, episiotomies, vacuums ... the list goes on and on.
But at what cost do we unconditionally embrace these interventions? Many thoughtful parents ask this question. Some are frustrated at the relationship between excessive interventions and medical liability.
Some question standards that depersonalize and disempower women. Some carefully weigh social, emotional and spiritual concerns along with physical risk reduction. The point isn't that these are right while others who choose a more conventional approach are wrong; the point is that there are no easy answers.
One thing is certain -- there is no excuse for reckless behavior by those whom we trust to care for us. But the only other people who were present at the birth of this baby -- his parents -- did not consider this midwife to have behaved recklessly. Instead they refused to sue her and celebrated her acquittal. Maybe we should ask if the prosecution was reckless in dragging out the pain of a grieving couple.
JENNIFER EVANS PELLING