“No matter what framework you use, the basic problem is that fundamental human rights in childbirth are being violated on a daily basis around the world. In North America, in Canada and in the province of Quebec human rights are being violated as well. I speak to you today of the specific rights to health which should be guaranteed to all women and birthing people.“
“What happens when patients raise the alarm about healthcare professionals practicing in their community? What does it take for the regulatory college to take these complaints seriously? What prevents doctors who do harm from jumping from hospital to hospital, and continuing to practice for years to come?”
If you’ve been harmed by a healthcare provider in Canada, consider sharing your experience here on the Community Story Blog. Change can happen if we speak up together!
“We need to feel comfortable saying “Stop!” when we see cervical checks without consent. Our clients should be the ones to advocate for themselves whenever possible, but there are times when they can’t and we must.”
Are you a doula or healthcare professional with a story to share about mistreatment and abuse in the healthcare system in Canada? Consider sharing your experiencehere on the Community Story Blog. Change can happen if we speak up together!
“As a Catholic teaching hospital, the cultural aversion to informed consent and bodily autonomy in your childbirth unit makes sense, however, some patients raised this culture as an area of concern in the feedback survey. You shared in your letter that you are “continuing to seek learning opportunities that expand care providers’ understanding of what obstetrical [sic] violence is and ways we can ensure patients don’t experience this under our care” In the meeting it was stated that “ideally we need to embed it into some standardized classes” but you were not able to speak to whether “obstetric violence” or “patient mistreatment” are terms that had come up at all yet, even in less formal conversations and huddles on the unit.
However, you expressed with certainty that there have still been no formalized discussions or training around what constitutes obstetric violence, and how to interrupt the cycle of obstetric violence in your Family Birthing Centre. It was also unclear whether the experiences of abuse and mistreatment some patients shared in their survey responses have been addressed in a comprehensive way.”
"The nurse gave me an internal exam which confirmed the location of the baby. A doctor then gave me the same exam to reconfirm the location of the baby. Then, a third doctor gave me the same exam yet again, this time without requesting my consent. She was examining me for what seemed like a long time, even joking around with her colleagues while inside of me. I was getting more and more anxious, knowing that this was increasing the risk of infection."
"The nurse instructed a student to check me and I shook my head no a bunch of times but they checked me anyway. [...] This nurse was doing almost everything I asked not to be done. It felt like she was offended by my choice to have a birth plan. [...] As that student checked me I felt myself give in and surrender control. I felt so defeated."
"I woke up from my c-section to be told that I had a boy. They would not answer me as to where he was or if he was okay. I asked at least 3 times. It wasn't until I asked if he was alive that they answered that he was okay"
"My records showed that the doctor had performed a cervix check prior to waking me up to announce me needing a c-section. I have no memory of this cervix check. I was asleep, He apparently requested consent from me while I was asleep."
"The OB said they might as well deliver her by forceps now, and said out loud "let's give this baby a little more room, shall we", and I heard and felt the scissors cut into me as he gave me an episiotomy."