ORLive Sensationalizes and Marginalizes Childbirth

This really creeps me out!  I’ve known for a while that OR Live will feature a planned cesarean birth at the Shawnee Medical Center.  Is this an attempt to further normalize cesarean birth?  Is it a response to America’s voyeuristic preoccupation with “reality” shows?  Is this yet another way to marginalize and trivialize natural childbirth?

The press release points out that “[a]ccording to the Centers for Disease Control, every year more than 1 million women in the United States deliver by Cesarean Section, commonly known as a C- section.”  (See it’s ok.  It’s normal.  It’s safe because mom and baby are in a hospital.)  It’s like watching Little Red Riding Hood.  You don’t know if it’s the version where little red gets away or the one where the wolf eats her.  This is an apt means for normalizing technologically-manipulated childbirth.

Notice the technorati tags at the bottom of the page: OR-Live   surgical video   medical video   C-Section   Cesarean Section   fetal distress   breech position   
There is nothing here that indicates a medical need for a cesarean.  Fetal distress (a subjective and often misleading diagnosis) cannot be predicted far in advance.  Breech position would not have been determined at the time I first heard about this event.  So how did this mother and baby get selected for major abdominal surgery, I wonder?  The press release states that cesareans are reserved for babies that cannot be born vaginally.  The title claims that cesareans are performed during “complicated” or “high-risk” deliveries.  How has that been determined in this case?

Or is it that some lucky gal and her innocent child will be selected sometime during this week preceding or on the day of the big show for a 7:00 pm cesarean?

Ugh, if this don’t make yer skin crawl . . .


2 thoughts on “ORLive Sensationalizes and Marginalizes Childbirth

  1. A) thank GOD I don’t get this show on my ridiculous amount of channels.
    B) this make me want to bash my head in to the table, again… and again… and again…
    C) I need to go and wash my eyes now. SHUDDER.
    skin is crawling soooooo badly….
    D) You’d think this would be a lawyers nightmare… how does one allow for a doc to go and seek out a ‘complicated/highrisk’ birth… wandering the halls looking for trouble? sick sick sick!

  2. I am in trainging to be a surgical technician and have witnessed a cesarean birth. I just want you to know that it is not taken lightly and it was riskier for the mother given her medical conditions and the size of the baby. I myself chose to have my children by natural childbirth without any medications with a midwife but I am comforted knowing that shoud complications arise I will not lose a child in childbirth. OR live is not meant to be voyeristic , it is invaluable in the trainging of medical personel and keeping us updated on new less invasive techniques and new equipment and education of patients that may be having a similar procedure. As far as doctors seeking out a high risk patient it is not necessary they specialize in high risk and patients have to be informed and want to participate and some high risk cesareans are prescheduled . It is unfortunate that television has chosen the surgical setting for some dramas and has given the impression that surgery is trivial, most OR personel can not stand to watch TV programs because we take it very serious.

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