Why do natural childbirth advocates participate in their own humiliation?

Over the last few years, the public has been treated to the spectacle of prominent politicians facing serious allegations staging photo ops with a supportive wife at their side, such as the one of the former New Jersey governor and his wife above. And at many such photo ops, the wife is acting as enabler. She stands at the politician’s side implying that she believes his denial (of an affair or a visit to a prostitute or similar behavior) even though she knows or ought to know that he is not telling the whole truth.

Perhaps she truly doesn’t know; or maybe she knows but believes she is saving the marriage; or maybe she knows but is as invested in saving the political career as he is. In any case, she is an enabler in her own humiliation, standing before the public and pretending that the fact that she was betrayed is untrue or irrelevant, as if her feelings don’t matter, as if her job is to support her husband right or wrong.

Evidently that phenomenon is not restricted to marriages. NCB advocates seems to have no trouble standing by the side of the various “Dr. Wonderfuls” supporting them as if their deeds don’t matter, and as if it the job of the “little woman” to always support the man.

Witness Rixa Freeze’s outrageous claim after learning that Dr. Stuart Fischbein had been convicted of sexual exploitation of a patient (in the comments section of Another Dr. Wonderful needs your help!):

Regarding the controversy about the consensual sex issue: I see it as irrelevant to the issue at hand. Dr. F’s regrettable mistake in the past is being used as classic ad hominem and red herring arguments. It’s a way of distracting people away from the real issue at hand (women’s right to choose VBAC or vaginal breech birth, and physician’s right to support them in those choices) by attacking Dr. F’s character.

The conviction of sexual exploitation of a patient is irrelevant when determining whether other women should support this doctor? Only if you believe that turning a blind eye is an appropriate stance.

Barb Herrera, Navelgazing Midwife, has just written an astounding post that sets a new standard in enabling a “Dr. Wonderful”. You can read the piece here. Barb acknowledges that Dr. Biter is currently facing 6 malpractice lawsuits; she confirms that Dr. Biter was reinstated only so that he could resign and avoid the consequences of a suspension; she glosses over the fact that Dr. Biter, her friend and colleague, never bothered to tell her about those lawsuits or the truth about the reasons for his suspension; she proudly declares that Dr. Biter is giving his approval to what she writes on his behalf. And then … she ignores that information in order to continue to support the man that just abetted her public humiliation.

Several days ago, Barb wrote a long post in support of Dr. Biter which alleged a giant hospital conspiracy to get rid of Dr. Biter because he is “unconventional” and “non-conforming” in his support of natural childbirth. Barb had absolutely no idea whether her claims were true; she provided no facts to support her claims and obviously she was unaware of the actual facts of the case. In light of the information she has learned in the last few days, Barb now writes … EXACTLY THE SAME THING.

Oh, wait, not exactly the same thing. Yes she repeats the unsubstantiated claims of an elaborate conspiracy to remove Dr. Biter, but now she includes the deal apparently struck by Dr. Biter so that he could avoid further investigation and blames … THE HOSPITAL. Barb twists herself into a pretzel to generate this mind boggling conclusion:

… If Dr. Biter did something egregious… something dangerous… why didn’t Scripps Encinitas revoke his privileges and throw him to the dogs (the Medical Board)? In fact, it’s been brought up that Scripps Encinitas is named in four of the six Biter lawsuits out there (and remember, a suit does not infer guilt!) and if Scripps Encinitas’ lawyers felt that Dr. Biter was negligent, isn’t it negligent of them to “let him go?” It is because of this that I believe he did nothing illegal or outright dangerous, but that they had a philosophical (and financial?!) issue with his being there…

So let me see if I get this straight: the hospital is “negligent” if it let Dr. Biter weasel out of a more thorough investigation of his competence to practice obstetrics. But the hospital couldn’t be “negligent” so that must mean that Dr. Biter is competent and his suspension was a giant conspiracy to punish his practice style.

Barb starts with a fixed conclusion and fabricates backward from there. The fixed conclusion is that her Dr. Wonderful is worthy of her adulation, and anything else is unthinkable. Dr. Biter couldn’t have struck a deal to escape further investigation because … well because he just couldn’t have done so. Yes, he let her speak on his behalf without warning her that there were critical facts that she didn’t know, but that’s okay. The facts are irrelevant when the great man needs support.

Barb ends with another dollop of the gushing adulation that she’s been displaying all along:

He’s thanking me for my support, letting me know I am saying the right things, defending him appropriately and reminding me of the variation in the standards of care between providers while remaining within ACOG Guidelines. Dr. Biter is hardly alone, this Doctor-as-Renegade persona.

If that’s not enabling, I don’t know what is.

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