1. Dengate, Diane BSN, RNC

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As an obstetrics nurse for 20 years, I found the February editorial discouraging because it holds obstetrics nurses responsible for many actions that are out of their control. Some women today will sue if their birth experience does not meet their expectations. The fear of lawsuits affects practice, whether or not we want to accept it. Mason mentions the prevalent use of ultrasound, which helps to avoid lawsuits in cases of malformations. Elective induction and cesarean section reduce the risk of complications and the resulting lawsuits. The legal community uses every minute of electronic fetal monitor recordings to prove staff negligence. And Joint Commission standards mandate offering epidural and spinal anesthesia for pain relief.


It is not surprising that women feel weak or helpless during hospitalization, as Mason indicates. I used to believe in home birth, but women often need medical support. We need to find a responsible middle ground where women are supported in a manner they find comfortable. Nursing's approach has usually been holistic. If we all play our roles, every patient will receive exactly what she needs when she needs it.


Diane Dengate, BSN, RNC


Ferndale, MI