5 babies are dead, but Lisa Barrett thinks she’s the martyr

The beauty of narcissism is that no matter what happens, it’s all about the narcissist. That’s why, in the wake of 5 babies who died completely preventable deaths at homebirth, Lisa Barrett thinks it’s all about her.

Tate Spencer-Koch, Jahli Jean Hobbs, Sam, Tully Kavanaugh and Ian are dead because Lisa Barrett minimized the risks of homebirth when counseling their mothers, all of whom were at high risk for complications. They died because Lisa Barrett could not handle the complications that were predicted. They died because their mothers did not have the Cesareans that would have saved the babies lives.

The Coroner who reviewed 4 of the 5 deaths was scathing in his point by point assessment of Barrett:

  • idiosyncratic views as to risk.
  • the seemingly unshakeable dogma that an adverse outcome in the homebirth setting would inevitably have occurred in a hospital setting in any event and that the professional services that are available within a hospital would not have altered the outcome.
  • Ms Barrett’s tendency to contradict or deny established evidence-based opinion.
  • Ms Barrett’s general position [on macrosomia] is at odds with the written material that Ms Barrett herself produced in evidence.
  • Much of Ms Barrett’s evidence about the desirability or otherwise of a vaginal delivery of a breech birth in the home setting was premised on a number of questionable views that she steadfastly appears to hold.
  • Neither this article [the PREMODA breech study cited by Barrett] nor any other literature that has been tendered suggests that planned vaginal delivery for a singleton foetus in the breech presentation at term ought appropriately be undertaken in the home. On the contrary, the conclusion reached in the article to which I have referred suggests that in vaginal deliveries, rigorous compliance with conditions before enduring labour is a prerequisite.
  • Ms Hughes asserts that Ms Barrett told her that breech was ‘just a variation of normal.’
  • Ms Barrett holds the view that ‘there’s just as much risk surrounding an elective caesarean for a breech as there is surrounding a vaginal birth for a breech’.
  • Ms Barrett went so far as to say that it would be impossible to tell whether a planned caesarean section would have resulted in the child being born alive. She goes so far as to suggest that the risks associated with caesarean section are higher than the risks of vaginal birth and that the risk associated with caesarean section and the morbidity and mortality of breech is the same in vaginal birth and caesarean section … This opinion is simply manifestly incorrect. It causes me to doubt the genuineness of other assertions made by Ms Barrett …

Now, in an interviewed with the Australian publication InDaily, Barrett breaks her silence.

She would not directly talk about the cases involved in the Coroner’s Court, instead revealing how it has affected her.

… I didn’t want people to think I was dangerous, or a maverick or whatever they think that I am, but it was thrust on me because I really believe in a woman’s right to choose.”

The quote is reminiscent of a line from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night:

[B]e not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.

Any reference to the Shakespeare quote is more apt that Barrett realizes. The quote leads an arrogant character to take on a series of bizarre tasks in an effort to prove his own greatness. Similarly, Barrett, an arrogant midwife took on a series of high risk homebirths in an effort to demonstrate her own greatness as a defender of women’s “autonomy.” But how, exactly, does a woman exercise her autonomy if she is counseled by an arrogant midwife spewing the nonsense that the coroner noted?

So far Barrett has paid dearly for her choices. She has suffered financially and almost faced jail for contempt of court after refusing to speak on a case and break her client’s trust.

But Barrett said she is now “taking a rest” and that she would do it all again.

“It’s hard because I don’t want to make excuses for myself and I don’t want people to feel sorry for me, because I don’t feel sorry for me.

“I did everything with my eyes open, unfortunately, and I really believe that if no one is fighting for bodily autonomy than we are not going to have any left.”

Don’t worry, Lisa, I don’t feel sorry for you. I feel sorry for the babies who died unnecessarily and the women who lost their children because they believed the garbage you fed them.

You are a contemptible human being who doesn’t express even a scintilla of remorse or regret for 5 dead babies who didn’t have to die. That’s not surprising since you got what you wanted: attention, and an opportunity to portray yourself as a martyr. The mothers ended up with a grief that will never leave them and the babies end up robbed of life itself.

You’re not a martyr or a hero or a defender of women’s autonomy. You’re just another pathetic narcissist who doesn’t care who gets hurt as long as your voracious need for attention and validation is met.

  • Siri Dennis

    And unlike, say, Brenda Scarpino, Barrett is a properly trained, qualified and experienced midwife, who has worked in hospitals and been in charge of labour ward. So her actions are especially despicable, as she really does know better.

  • http://shameonbetterbirth.wordpress.com/ Shameon Betterbirth

    wow this is one of the worst things ive ever read.

    • birthbuddy

      Yes, Lisa Barrett’s legacy is truly shocking.

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