Tagged: Shelia Kitzinger

A ‘Good Patient’: Defined

When interns in a Boston hospital were asked to define a ‘good patient’, one reply was,

‘She does what I say, hears what I say, believes what I say…a good patient is compliant. Not only does she conform, but she thanks the professionals because they ‘save’ her baby. She is grateful regardless of what they do to her. Women who fail to conform in this way are seen as ‘difficult patients’.

 ‘Rediscovering Birth’ By Sheila Kitzinger

Is this how you want to be treated? As a good or bad patient? Conforming to what someone else tells you about what is happening to your body and your baby. Being grateful regardless of what someone else does to you?

I feel disgusted reading this snippet. Who do these people think they are? Some kind of superhero who flies in to save the day? Yes they may have a lot of knowledge, but it doesn’t mean that knowledge is correct, or conducive to normal birth, or even the best interest of the mother or baby.

In what other aspect of life are we OK with conforming to what someone else tells us?

Why is it, in birth that this is so commonly accepted?


One World Birth: How it Works