Medicalization and obstetric care: an analysis of developments in Dutch midwifery.
SourceMedicine, Health Care and Philosophy, 6, 2, (2003), pp. 153-165
Article / Letter to editor
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Ethics, Philosophy, History of Medical Sciences
Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy
SubjectEBP 4: Quality of Care
The Dutch system of obstetric care is often recommended for midwife-attended births, the high number of home deliveries, and the low rate of intervention during pregnancy and labour. In this contribution, the question is addressed whether processes of medicalization can be demonstrated in the Dutch midwife practice. Medicalization of pregnancy and childbirth is often criticized because it creates dependency on the medical system and infringement of the autonomy of pregnant women. It is concluded that medicalization is present in the practice of Dutch independent midwives, however it is less clear and outspoken than in hospital policies.
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