Is there such a thing as forced professional passivity?

In this video, I challenge a recent paper, “Second Victims in Maternity Care – The Hidden Fallout of Parental Birth Plans”, that raised some concerns for me. Hidden? or non-existent? or disrespectful?

The merging of consent with compliance is alarming. You need to comply/consent, or you’ll hurt the feelings of the one seeking your consent/approval.

Is there even such a thing as ‘professional passivity’? Is this even possible in the power imbalance that is healthcare?

The paper suggests the problem is ‘non-standard’ birth plans. I disagree. The problem is a system that does not support the care providers to support these women. The problem is a system that trains providers to expect consent and does not offer to debrief when an adverse event occurs – whether the intention was ‘non-standard’ or not.

It is not okay that care providers felt the need to write this paper.

With women-led decision-making, we can move forward together. We need a supportive and respectful system that is compassionate and humanised. This is not a matter of ‘workplace health and safety’. This is a matter of the future of humanity.

further reading:

The paper I am responding to can be found here

The book I recommend the authors of the ‘second victim’ paper (and you!) read is Compassionomics: The Revolutionary Scientific Evidence That Caring Makes a Difference (2019)  Stephen Trzeciak and Anthony Mazzarelli
Find out more about compassionomics here

I also recommend that the ‘second victim’ authors consider Birth Cartographer training. I would happily go to Mildura to do an in-service for the staff there and help them brainstorm ways to improve the working conditions and in turn, their ability to support women in their care.

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