Pregnant women have the same right as everyone else to make medical decisions about their bodies. Despite this, Humanize Birth has heard from many women throughout the province of British Columbia whose basic human rights were violated while giving birth in BC. Instead of being treated with the dignity and respect that medical patients can normally expect from a medical service provider, these women were denied their right to have a say in what medical procedures are performed on their own or their children’s bodies.
Many of these women have written complaints to hospital Patient Care Quality Review Boards or have been in touch with the professional Colleges (Physicians, Midwives, Nurses) while trying to obtain some resolution. Unfortunately, these complaints and communications have invariably failed to reach a satisfactory resolution.
It seems clear that there are some extremely vexing and systemic problems in BC maternity care that are leading to growing rates of traumatization in post-partum women and are negatively impacting many BC families. This problem is clearly not confined to any one individual hospital, geographic location, or health authority. It is, tragically, ubiquitous. It is sometimes even present in women’s own homes when maternity care is provided by midwives.
The existing system of Patient Care Quality Review Boards and self-regulating Colleges seems unable at this time to acknowledge, examine, and correct these problems.
Because of this, Humanize Birth is organizing a group complaint to the BC Ombudsperson. With this complaint, we hope to initiate a systematic investigation into issues around disrespect, improper informed consent practices, and other human rights violations in maternity care in BC.
Were you treated with disrespect by a BC health care provider during your pregnancy, childbirth, or in the post-partum period? Did you have your rights, or the rights of you children, violated? If you would like to join our group complaint with your own individual complaint, please click here for more information.
Humanize Birth will collect the individual complaints and will submit them to the BC Ombudsperson’s Office, together with a cover letter outlining the issues. To submit a complaint, you will need to identify yourself (your name and address). However, your confidentiality will be respected and preserved through the Group Complaint submission and the BC Ombudsperon’s investigative process.
Fore more information, questions, or concerns, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please submit your complaint by October 15, 2014.