Saturday, November 02, 2013

Setting the Record Straight


A friend kindly pointed out to me the tone of my last blog post- Misrepresentations, Mistreatment, andMisproportions.  According to her, my article made it “obvious that the doctors and hospitals are all out to ruin women and babies.” And in re-reading my post, I can see how that could be the reader's take-away conclusion. For that I am sorry, because that is obviously not true.

Oaxacan medical personnel are much the same as their colleagues worldwide-- motivated by a strong desire to serve humanity in the best way they know how—by caring for physical needs.  My challenge is to accurately represent the needs here in Oaxaca, exposing and hopefully helping to correct imbalances while not defaming or misrepresenting the medical community.   

Because many of Casa Compasiva's clients have experienced the seamy underside of the medical establishment and share their sad stories with us, we tend to forget that the seamy underside is only half of the story. The other part is the noble and often heroic role that doctors play in the lives of women here in Mexico.

We have the best living example of that in our own Doctora Donaji , who serves with Casa Compasiva.  She selflessly gives up sleep to sit all night with a labouring woman.  She gives up vacation days rather than being unavailable to her clients around their due dates.  She spends her days off making herbal lotions and salves to donate to Casa in order to raise money for needy clients.  In short, she is an amazing example of a physician who lays down her life for her clients.

Dr. Jesus Guzman is another great example of a Oaxacan doctor of integrity.  He is          
an OB-GYN to whom we often refer our clients, and who has performed Caesareans for us in cases where we have had to transport.  Both he and his wife, Dra. Patricia Diaz, a pediatrician, are committed to a standard of excellence in serving their clients- refusing to make medical decisions based on economic gain but always instead based on what is best for the client.

And then there is the doctor who attended my friend when she was pregnant. When her water broke, he went to their house to check her and then took them in his car--(they didn't have one at the time)--to the private clinic where their baby was born.) How many OB-GYN's in the U.S. or Canada would do that for their pregnant client?  

Dr. Angel Quintero is another OB-GYN who has worked tirelessly to educate medical personnel and improve maternity services in Oaxaca—working with midwives to effect positive change for birthing women of Oaxaca.

For all of these doctors and for many others like them, we are extremely grateful. I hope this helps to set the record straight.  Yes, there is a serious fly in the ointment of Oaxacan obstetric care—the Caesarean rate here is the highest in the world!  Abuse happens.  And yet Oaxaca is also privileged to have outstanding examples of doctors who understand and uphold the very best aspects of the Hippocratic Oath—dedicating their lives in skillful service to their patients.

So it is always good to be reminded of the need to present a balanced report, and again I thank my friend for calling this to my attention.  We love Oaxaca; we love Mexico; we love the mamas and babies whom we serve; and we highly value and respect the many fine doctors and medical personnel with whom we are privileged to associate.  

Lila Q

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