Monday, August 31, 2009

Homebirth-Friendly OB Needs Your Help

An OB of a very rare breed, a homebirth, VBAC and vaginal breech supporter, Dr. Stuart Fischbein, who actively collaborates with midwives, needs your help.

He is currently being threatened with disciplinary action by his hospital for, in essence, doing his job to the very best of his ability: supporting informed consent and evidence-based medicine. His practice maintained a primary c-section rate of just 5% (as opposed to the hospital rate of 20%) and a total rate of 12% (compared to 29% for the hospital rate). Over the past few months, he has attended 3 vaginal breech birth and 3 VBACs which all ended positively. The hospital has already suspended the privileges of the two CNMs he works with, and he's next on their list.

To find out more about Dr. Fischbein's case and how you can support his cause, please visit his blog.

Here's more on how you can help:

1. Contribute to Dr. Fischbein's Legal Aid Fund. Make Paypal Payment to or mail a check payable to Alan J. Sedley, Attorney at Law to: 1234C Westlake Blvd., Westlake Village, CA 91361

2. Write a Letter to: Mr. Michael T. Murray, President, St. John's Regional Medical Center, 1600 Rose Avenue, Oxnard, CA, 93030 and copy to: angelfischs at

3. File a complaint with the Joint Commission.

4. Network. Share his story with forums, blogs, newsletters, or start a letter-writing campaign. This issue is larger than him - it impacts birthing women everywhere.

5. Enroll in our Online Childbirth Classes. 10% of all tuition payments received in September will be donated to his Legal Aid Fund.

His hospital currently supports aggressive, non evidence-based policies which compromise patient rights, autonomy, bodily integrity and overall well-being in the interest of limiting professional liability.

For example, they ban VBAC patients, not from VBAC, but from receiving epidurals, which should always be a choice, whether or not a woman chooses to elect it.

They also have strict policies on homebirth transfers, limiting women in their choice of hospital, which could even be a violation of EMTALA, which states that no woman in active labor can be turned away from a hospital without treatment.

I strongly urge you to support Dr. Fischbein in any way you can - whether monetarily or otherwise. By supporting him, you are advocating for women's rights to quality, evidence-based care for themselves and their children. The consequences of inaction could be far reaching.


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