It’s so touching when the ignorant band together to defend each other’s ignorance

expression -  Ignorance is bliss - written on a school blackboar

I have often pointed out that no sooner do I write a post on the buffoonery of various homebirth and anti-vax activists then they rush to double down on their buffoonery.

For example, no sooner did I write a post that the surest sign of ignorance is when someone claims to be “educated” then the nitwits at The Thinking Mom’s Revolution rushed to demonstrate that my claims are true. Not surprisingly, the “Thinking Moms” are the one’s who have trouble with thinking.

Consider this gem of stupidity published only this morning, Featured Guest Blog: Oh, for Shame! But Shame on Who?. It is a truly touching example of how the ignorant ban together to defend each other’s ignorance.

The piece is about me and my attempts to hold Jennifer Margulis accountable for her nonsense, ranging from her claims that ultrasound might cause autism to her masterfully idiotic defense of the hideous homebirth death rates in Oregon (“Amy, Oregon has some of the safest best homebirth stats in the country IF YOU DON’T COUNT PORTLAND…”).

The author of the TMR piece is Jody McGillivray. What are McGilligray’s qualifications for assessing any disputes between Jennifer Margulies and myself?

She is a former K-12 foreign language educator and a volunteer autism legislative insurance reform advocate.

Well if that doesn’t qualify her to adjudicate a dispute about scientific evidence, I don’t know what does!!

Not surprisingly, her “defense” of Margulis is as damning as her lack of qualifications to defend Margulis.

The piece reads like it was written for The Onion. Here she lists Margulis’ qualifications for opining on medical issues.

Dr. Margulis is a magna cum laude Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Cornell University. She was accepted for graduate school at Harvard University and the University of California at Berkeley (she turned down Harvard to go to Berkeley). After earning a Master’s there, she spent three years doing development work in West Africa and worked in corporate philanthropy in the United States. As the small-project coordinator for Africare/Niger, Margulis built a hanger for handicapped artisans, directed an off-season gardening project with hundreds of rural women, spent two weeks in the bush interviewing very poor women about their health and the health of their families for a needs assessment, and worked on a child survival campaign. She was invited to speak live on prime-time TV in France to talk about the problem of child slavery. Her writing has appeared in so many magazines and newspapers that I couldn’t list them all, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, and on the cover of Smithsonian magazine.

Exactly! Margulis has NO qualifications of any kind to assess or comment on medical research.

It gets worse:

Oh, and did I mention Jennifer Margulis has a Ph.D.? From Emory University in Atlanta. And four children? And is part of an astonishingly intellectual family that includes at least one Nobel Prize winner (her uncle), a microbiologist who changed our understanding of evolution and whose name is in every Biology text book in the world (her mother), and the former head of the Math department at MIT, who solved several unsolvable problems?

She has a PhD in English! She has smart relatives!

So why does Amy Tuteur think Jennifer Margulis should be included in the “natural childbirth hall of shame?” Her biggest indictment of Dr. Margulis is that Dr. M has no credentials (see above). Her second reason for freaking out? The Business of Baby received two bad reviews.

Earth to Jody! Earth to Jody! My biggest indictment of Jennifer Margulis is that she is WRONG! I didn’t need a scathing review from The New York Times to tell me that Margulis’ book (currently ranked #297,043 on Amazon) is garbage, although I did enjoy Annie Murphy Paul’s takedown:

Inaccurate or inflammatory statements are repeatedly reproduced without adequate substantiation or comment from the other side… Margulis’s treatment of scientific evidence is similarly unbalanced… [U]ltrasound exams of pregnant women may be responsible for rising rates of autism among their children, according to “a commentator in an online article.” This anonymous individual has “used ultrasonic cleaners to clean surgical instruments (and jewelry),” which apparently qualifies him or her to offer an opinion on how the vibration of ultrasound waves may be causing the developmental disorder: “Perhaps this vibration could knock little weak spots in myelin sheeting of nerves or such, I don’t know.”

Jody keeps digging herself in deeper and deeper:

Dr. Margulis was recently in New York City. Why? Because the very same book that Dr. Amy Tuteur (retired)’s followers want you to shred for your hamster cage was nominated as one of five finalists for the prestigious Books For A Better Life Award.

Prestigious? It’s awarded by The New York City-Southern New York Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. No doubt they do great work supporting people with MS in NYC and Southern New York, but they are hardly the Pulitzer Prize Committee.

Jody thinks this is her coup-de-grace:

Dr. Margulis really seems to have gotten Dr. Amy Tuteur’s (retired) goat. AT concludes her nasty blog with: “Jennifer Margulis has gone from journalist to joke, because of her endless stream of nonsense. Perhaps if she spent more time learning science, and less time worrying about me, she wouldn’t be one of the leading candidates for a spot in my Natural Childbirth Hall of Shame.”

I snorted my herbal ice tea out my nose when I read that. In fact, it is Dr. Tuteur (retired) who needs to spend more time in the actual field of science and less time personally attacking accomplished women who are working hard to make positive changes, to promote safe childbirth, and to champion safer childhood vaccines.

And who would know better than Jody, than a K-12 teacher of foreign languages?

McGillivray concludes:

Luckily, Thinking Moms are not so easily duped. We research, we study, we read extensively, and we educate ourselves beyond our degrees to become the best moms we can be. We live in the real world, not on the Internet. We make informed choices, beginning with choosing where to give birth, and we recognize that the decisions we make for our children determine how healthy they will be, and what type of people they will become. Nice try, Amy. But we will not be subjugated, intimidated, or made to feel disempowered by a schoolyard bully.

In other words, the “Thinking Moms” have no idea what they are talking about.

Oh, and Jody, no one is trying to subjugate, intimidate or disempower you. I’m simply trying to make you and Margulis look like the fools that you are. Thanks so much making my job even easier than it already was.

  • Allie P

    Those ladies never know what they are talking about. I mostly pity them because their lives seem so difficult they must vent their anger on the internet.

  • Ogifa

    As a nurse, I probably won’t ever understand wanting to have a homebirth. The whole reason I could never go into OB is because it was so heartbreaking when something went wrong.

    That said, I find the homebirthers’ stance on education to be really hypocritical. They’re all for being “educated” and showing off their non-related degrees, but I think if they really valued education they would be promoting Certified Nurse Midwives and not defending people who may not even have a high school diploma.

  • Melstutzman

    Wow. Just wow.
    “I snorted my herbal iced tea through my nose…” How is this not an Onion article? Although…I do hear that’s a cure for autism.

  • Karma Kidney Stone

    I commented on their page, and used my real name, too, and it was never approved. Typical. If they are so sure they’re right, why do they have to silence everyone who doesn’t agree? Methinks they know they have no leg to stand on.

    • Amy

      My comment was blocked too. It was not confrontational at all.

      • yugaya

        Mine got lost too, probably because I am not ‘educated’ enough to be allowed to comment on what and how a Thinking Mom writes.

  • PrimaryCareDoc

    So, I’m getting a 404 error when I try to go to the TMR page from here. Are they blocking traffic from this page?

    • KarenJJ

      I could get there from this page.

  • yugaya

    From the comments: “No one, such as this seeming trouble making retired doctor would ever
    change my mind. Women have been giving birth for centuries without
    obstetricians and it was only in the early 20th century that male
    physicians found it lucrative to get into the baby delivery business,
    that the role was taken from these professional, experienced, empathetic
    women.”

    And now let’s look again look at the result of those ebil “male physicians” hijacking the role of birth attendants in the early 20th century from these “professional, experienced, empathetic
    women”:

    Yeah, they did all that AND golfed on Fridays.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      See – you don’t understand. The data missing before 1900 is all better than the 20th century.

      • Young CC Prof

        Of course! Women weren’t really dying in childbirth, it was just a literary trope, like tuberculosis in “La Boheme.”

        Oh, wait.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          And all those evil stepmothers in Fairy Tales? Probably due to high divorce rates.

      • yugaya

        Ah the wonderful XIX century:

        - when there were no evil male doctors around pregnancy and childbirth because pregnancy is not a disease and our bodies are made for it

        - when births were attended by ” these professional, experienced, empathetic women”

        - when no pregnancy was monitored via ultrasound machines that damage baby’s brain

        - when garlic for infections and coconut water for preeclampsia were the recommended treatment

        - when no unnecessary c-sections were performed.

        - when all newborns were either breastfed or dead.

        Imagine the super-low death rates that were the result of all the evil interventions completely avoided.

  • The Computer Ate My Nym

    Off topicish again, but…

    I have a theory about the obsession with autism. In the past, everyone obsessed about what did and did not cause cancer. Cell phones are a late comer to that game, but people used to–and still do to some extent–worry about cancer from water bottles, sugar substitutes, pesticides, electric wires, and bad tasting vegetables. In short, every new thing that came along was suspected of causing cancer.

    But the medical reality and, to some extent, social perception of cancer has changed. It’s still dangerous, but it is no longer the guaranteed death sentence that it used to be. So people need a new fear. Viruses did it for a while, but now HIV is a chronic disease, nvCJD hasn’t developed into an epidemic, and there are vaccines and/or treatments for more and more viruses. So that won’t do.

    So what do we need to fear? Dementia’s always popular, but dementia usually strikes older people. Not something that you can get young parents excited about. Autism, OTOH, is perfect. It’s idiopathic (cause unknown), it appears to be becoming more common (it’s probably not really), it takes “perfect” babies and turns them into toddlers with problems, there is no way of preventing it and treatment is of dubious value…In short, it’s the ideal place for myth and quackery to jump in.

    So I’d argue that vaccines are a victim of not only their own success, but the success of the rest of the medical industry as well: If people still feared cancer as certain death, they’d have less energy to worry about autism. If they still feared viruses as the ultimate killers, they’d be less concerned with a non-fatal disease. But those risks are both decreased (though by no means gone) so the next line fear takes over. And so here we are…

  • ngozi

    Why do they always mention Dr. Amy is retired? What is wrong with being retired? Your brains don’t just automatically fall out of your head because you are retired. What, are you supposed to work until you are 102 to please these people?

    • ReinAB

      Oh and they are thinking moms who supposedly support being a stay-at-home/work-at-home Mom! Not to mention, the NCB crunchies! But apparently when a Doctor decides to do it, she’s unable to still think! One would think Dr. Amy would get some credit for this? She’s clearly a thinking mom!

      • Young CC Prof

        Nope, if you come to a conclusion different from theirs, by definition you didn’t think.

        • yugaya

          Argh they did that to the verb ‘educate’ already, and now they are redefining what the word ‘think’ means. Of course that is perfectly in line with how Cheyney suggested that the same thing needs to be done with Apgar score of zero, because one minute zero Apgar scores in births attended by lay midwives are not the same like one minute zero Apgar scores in births attended by qualified medical professionals.

          Anyone not ‘educated’ enough who does not know how to ‘think’ properly will surely see the Newspeak absurdity of it.

          • Young CC Prof

            Because the fact that your midwife can’t tell whether the baby is dead or not is a reason to trust their care.

    • Karma Kidney Stone

      It’s very misogynistic, really. SAHM’s and retired women are too stupid to be listened to. Once you retire or decide to leave the work force as a woman, you have no voice, and cannot have an opinion. Just go back to the kitchen, Dr Amy. Don’t you have laundry to do, sweetie? That’s really what they’re saying.

    • Amy Tuteur, MD

      Why? Because they want to discredit me and they can’t think of anything else to say. They obviously cannot debate the issues; they know I am correct when it comes to the science; they certainly can’t discredit my credentials. So they had to make up something that is entirely meaningless. In many ways, it is just an acknowledgment that I am correct.

      The comment section is a hoot. Apparently quite a few villages are missing their idiots.

      The ultimate acknowledgement they I am right and they are wrong is that they are censoring the comments because they know they can’t defend against them.

      Homebirth and anti-vax cannot survive anywhere but in a carefully curated echo chamber.

      • MLE

        Seems a little ageist to me as well (I know you didn’t quit at retirement age). Normally when I see, oh let’s say, USMC Ret, for instance, my level of respect for the individual increases. Or for anyone with x years of experience who has now left the field and is more of an objective party.

        • ngozi

          Exactly!! I was wondering if they were being ageist, or if I was just being overly sensitive.

    • Trixie

      Jan Tritten is allegedly retired from midwifery, but that hasn’t stopped her from handing out terrible advice on the internet. And no one fusses about the fact that she’s no longer “practicing.”

      • Young CC Prof

        Remember the “elder midwives” page? THAT was funny.

        • Trixie

          Once again, I restate my campaign to convince Jan to quit midwifery entirely, take up biodynamic agriculture, and crowdsource her poorly executed gardening disasters in real time. It would make me feel better about laughing at her stupidity if cabbages were her only victims.

          • Anj Fabian

            Then she could do a debate with Doctor Treevorkian….

            (Fictional character created by James Chatfield. Dr. Treevorkian is a specialist in sending trees to an early grave. He really needs to get that presentation on youtube.)

          • Mishimoo

            But think of the poor cabbage merchant and his cry of: “Off with their heads, one for each head of cabbage!”

          • Trixie

            There’s no way she’s even getting cabbages to market.

        • Julie Thornton Frank

          Maybe Dr. Amy can be an “elder OBGYN.”

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        But she didn’t (dramatic pause) give up her license! Oh, wait, that’s because she had no license to give up.

        • Young CC Prof

          She preemptively gave up her license. Before going to school and earning it.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            Saves the hassle

    • Isilzha

      It drives me nuts that so many women disparage and diminish another woman’s accomplishments as they do. Graduating medical school, being a licensed doctor, a practicing ob-gyn and teaching at Harvard are each worthy achievements.

  • expat

    The idea that having well educated relatives and the money to pay for a phd in english qualifies someone to write a book on obstetrics and immunology is laughable. She thinks she is so clever that she can just connect the dots without using any science at all. Since Aristotle, we’ve had a better method than that. Journalists need to understand the basics of science.

    • ngozi

      HA!!! Most journalist don’t understand the basics of real journalism!!!

  • ccccat

    decisions we make for our children determine how healthy they will be, and what type of people they will become

    Bwaahahhaha. Wait, is she serious? I mean, yeah, the choices you make for your kids will have some impact on their lives, but if you think you are going to determine what type of people your kids become you are in for a big disappointment.

    • Alcharisi

      It’s been my diagnosis for quite awhile that a big part of these folks’ thought is a kind of crude virtue ethic. “Good people do good things, so if I want my children to be good people, they will do these things I have concluded are good.”

  • Anj Fabian
    • Karen in SC

      Screenshot, someone? I refuse to click on woo-sites. Both on principle and to keep my blood pressure down.

    • Zornorph

      Yeah, I don’t usually bother posing on sites like that, but I felt ‘moved’ to make a few comments.

      • Siri

        Freudian undergarment, Zornorph? ;-)

  • Danielle

    I append my rant below by noting that the tail wagging the dog in these discussions, is this conceit:

    “Luckily, Thinking Moms are not so easily duped. We research, we study, we read extensively, and we educate ourselves beyond our degrees to become the best moms we can be. We live in the real world, not on the Internet. We make informed choices, beginning with choosing where to give birth, and we recognize that the decisions we make for our children determine how healthy they will be, and what type of people they will become. Nice try, Amy.”

    The paragraph shows that what you one is coming up against is people’s belief the idea that they have agency and have power as mothers. I’m sympathetic to this desire, because I’m a mom and I like power. Unfortunately, I think people take that emotion and run in the wrong direction. They want to believe and want to reassure themselves that trying to be informed, and trying to change the world, means that they can feel good about themselves. “I’m good, I’m smart, I’m powerful, I am changing the world!” Rince, repeat! To question this at any point is “disempowering.” But really, chanting this doesn’t change the facts: You don’t inherently know everything, your “research” is probably prefunctory, and you will make mistakes like every other ordinary human being. The only way to make fewer of them is to have a sense of humor about yourself and try always to learn more and act as wisely as you can. This requires being an informed layperson; it does not mean becoming a master of all things.

    Why can’t we just say this? Ah, because:

    we recognize that the decisions we make for our children determine how healthy they will be, and what type of people they will become.

    But that is not true. You will not single-handedly determine your child’s health and character. You will contribute to it, at best. This desperate-self affirmation and will to power is a symptom of the popular belief that mothers can and should be held responsible for the shape of their children’s lives, must devote every spare resource to this mission and must, must, must therefore see themselves and competent and powerful masters in all things child-related. In fact, that’s a unrealistic burden that can hinders people in parenting as much as it helps.

    • T.

      It is also very disempoweing for the child. Once s/he is past the baby or toddler stage, children can and do make a lot of things for themselves. Parents should empower children to make their own decision instead that thinking that EVERYTHING is on them. This could create a wealth of problem in the long run.

      • Jessica S.

        Yes! My son is 3.5 and I’ve come to the conclusion that a lot if our recent battles have to do with him not having enough independence. Obviously, I’m talking about tiny steps, but he gets so excited when he can do something all by himself and it really changes the dynamic when he’s empowered to do so. He’s our first, and it’s been so easy to just do everything for him. I’m playing catch up a bit. :)

        • Lost

          One of my 3.5 yo’s phrases I have come to dread: “I did it!”
          Me: “-what did you do?!?”

          My 6mo is asserting independence now. Cue battles for ownership of interesting toys…

          • Jessica S.

            Ha! I love how my son will kick or hit the wall (of course it’s the only shared wall in his room – apartment living! Argh!) all while yelling “I’M KICKING THE WALL!!!”

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      They really are a condescending bunch, aren’t they? THEY are “thinking moms.” As opposed to all you non-thinking moms, of course. And THEY “aren’t so easily duped.” You, of course, are easily duped.

  • Danielle

    The appeal to authority via education is annoying. Some rants:

    1. Education and life experience can prepare a person to have a useful opinion on a topic, by causing them to ask relevant questions and by honing their analytical skills and knowledge bases, BUT all this is preparatory only.

    After preparation comes the actual work of doing primary or secondary research and building an informed argument. This work stands on its own merits, and does not need an essay about the author’s credentials to prop it up.

    2. Arguing that a person “is educated” and therefore can be trusted no matter what topic they are addressing is bizarre. You aren’t magic or omniscient because you conducted a study once, or helped poor people, or got a Ph.D. Once you jump out of the areas where you have specific research and experience, your knowledge curbs off. I expect a Ph.D. in Topic A to know enough to write a coherent and informed lay argument about subject B, mainly because they understand what research is and what good argumentation looks like. They do not become an expert in subject B until they have done a lot of work in field B that is peer-reviewed. It is dishonest to claim to be that expert.

    3. All mentioning education and experience does, as a defense, is show that you are not “stupid.” This is only useful if someone has claimed you are stupid. If they have only claimed that you make stupid arguments (which any smart person can do, even by accident), then your response is not to appeal to your authority. It is to back up your argument.

    4. Many people really do have a sense of awe about credentials they do not have, that sound impressive. Likewise, people who have not done original research, or even substantial undergraduate research papers, do not quite realize that reading online articles is not “research.” They are, to some extent, to be forgiven because they do not know what they don’t know. What annoys me, as a Ph.D.-holding former teacher, is to watch people with credentials like a Ph.D. encourage this behavior. You are educated enough to know what your degree means, and what it does not mean! Stop waving it around like you’r returned from Hogwarts with wand, whose operations mere muggles cannot possibly fathom.

    • Rita Rippetoe

      “Smart” doesn’t necessarily transfer even to common sense. As a grand jury member I heard a medical doctor testify about a financial fraud of which he had been a victim. Everyone in the room had the same “how could a smart man fall for this BS” expression on their face. The DA even felt it necessary to point out that even stupid people were entitled to the protection of the law by citing a judge’s statement to this effect. To an outside observer the whole plot was transparently, blatantly a scam, but this educated and successful professional man put hundreds of thousands of dollars into it, and lost it all.

      I have a PhD in English and I wouldn’t claim to be an expert on subjects even within that field. Old English–a mystery–might as well be biochemistry. I can read with pleasure and instruction about literature that I haven’t studied, but I would not assume that I could make an informed argument about neo-classical poetry or the minor Jacobean dramatists, for example. Maybe I’m just too humble :).

      • Young CC Prof

        My mother once worked with a neonatal heart surgeon who couldn’t figure out how to pay car insurance premiums. Like he didn’t comprehend that he had to pay more than once per year. NO ONE is an expert on everything.

        • Trixie

          Bankers love to joke about the terrible investments doctors love to make! Restaurants especially!

        • LibrarianSarah

          A lot of insurance companies do allow you to pay once yearly. You’d have to drop about 5 grand at once but it can be done if you have it.

          • Young CC Prof

            Yes, but this guy didn’t. And kept getting confused when his insurance was canceled.

          • Trixie

            5 grand? For one year of auto insurance? Holy crap!

          • LibrarianSarah

            Auto-insurance in my area is outrageous. It comes with the territory with living in an area in the middle of a gang war.

          • Trixie

            Gah! We pay about $700/year/car.

      • LibrarianSarah

        I think we should avoid talking about victims of scam artists like they are stupid or lack “common sense.” Scam artists are very good at picking out people at vulnerable times in their lives, getting their trust, and taking advantage of them. While it might have been obvious to everyone in the jury that this was a scam, the scam artist probably “groomed” this man and took advantage of the fact that he didn’t know much about finance.

        Being highly educated doesn’t necessarily protect you from being the victim of a scam artist but neither does having “common sense” or “street smarts.” The instinct to blow this man off as having a lack of “common sense” or being stupid is another talisman that people rub in order to convince themselves that it can’t happen to them.

      • AmyP

        MDs are traditional victims of scam artists.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          ….
          You mean that guy that emailed me might not really be a Nigerian prince? Oops…

  • http://www.antigonos.blogspot.com/ Antigonos CNM

    Gee whiz! I never even went to college! (Diploma from nursing school after high school; midwifery studies in the UK).

    I can only claim, in my defense, that my father took Arthur C. Clarke to lunch once a year as a guest of the Communication Satellite Corp. (ComSat)

    and ,oh yes, 40+ years in maternity nursing….

  • Siri

    Lol. With supporters like that, who needs detractors?! (P.S. My brother has a PhD, my dad is a (retired) Associate Professor, my mum is a (retired) physiotherapist, and the blog I comment on most frequently is simply stuffed with medical doctors of all kinds. And I have a dog that can count to ten).

    • Amazed

      But she eats trolls for breakfast!

      • Siri

        Only very small ones. And I hear she has terrible indigestion.

  • Renee

    They are total idiots. Period

  • yugaya

    Is ‘foreign language educator’ fancy wording for a foreign language teacher or does it include some additional professioanal qualifications?

    • Trixie

      I’m pretty sure it just means teacher.

    • An Actual Attorney

      I think it means not able to get a teaching job, so occasionally tutors.

  • Sue

    I am very well qualified and experienced in an acute medical specialty. I have a very clever sister, I can cook and sew, and I also make jewellery. I won the prize for French in high school, and once got a certificate of merit for a poem I wrote. I donate to MSF and I am very kind to small children and puppies.

    On that basis, I think I’ll write a book on astrophysics, or micropaleontology, or something else that people as clever as me can do without even thinking hard, let alone training and experience.

    (Irony alert)

    • lilin

      I like this. Honestly, if lay people who are “childbirth educators” in a medical sense were smart, they’d stop attacking doctors and start attacking medical schools. Clearly they think medical schools are terrible as they seem to take four years to teach graduates less than they’d learn during one long online session or a couple of pro-home-birth documentaries.

    • Siri

      Will you please be my personal surgeon, Sue?

      • Amazed

        Hey! You don’t get to bump people! Sue is MY personal surgeon, first and foremost.

        • Siri

          I’m sure she is perfectly capable of operating on us both simultaneously. I bags her right hand though, unless she is left-handed.

          • Amazed

            So much for sisterhood. So willing to put your sister-woman at risk. Siri, I have to complement you. You are an excellent CPM material!

          • Siri

            Errr…..thanks? (pulls out revolver and shoots self).

          • Amazed

            What’s this? Conscience? *retracts statement*.

          • Siri

            Thankee kindly, Amazed! (Extracts bullet from brain and revives self with large brandy).

  • lilin

    I love the “her family is so smart” argument. Because, of course, that’s flat-out eugenics. She must be qualified! She has good blood. Blood will out. Not like that non-pedigreed mongrel, Dr. Amy (retired).

    Anyone want to ask this blog what other eugenics programs they support? Should we reinstate hereditary kingship, as people who are the relatives of presidents are obviously more qualified than the rest of us to govern.

    • Sue

      I’d rather be a Dr Amy (retired) than a Dr Margulis (irrelevant)

    • Young CC Prof

      What other eugenics programs do they support? Unrestricted natural selection of course.

  • Amy

    They wouldn’t let me post this comment over there, so I’ll post it here:

    “I think you’re either misinterpreting what Dr. Tuteur does, or deliberately misrepresenting what she does.

    Tuteur has never tried to make it illegal to have a homebirth. Where she directs most of her anger is at lay midwives who hide their really bad outcomes and rates of everything, encourage reckless risk-taking in their clients, and show little to no remorse when babies die at their hands. A secondary target is at the larger “crunchy mommy” community which routinely shames mothers who make unapproved parenting choices, such as vaccinating on schedule, not breastfeeding exclusively for a sufficient length of time, and choosing medical interventions during birth. (And as a very crunchy parent myself, I can vouch for this first hand. I read the ICAN list for years and was shocked at the language used about women who chose elective cesareans. I participated in a breastfeeding “support” community where women who supplemented were called bad mothers to their faces. It happens, and it’s terrible.)

    I also find it ironic and more than a little hypocritical that you, a stay-at-home parent who USED to be a teacher, find it necessary to list your former occupation as well as your volunteer activities in your blog bio, as though they are reasons we should take your writing seriously. I know plenty of retired doctors, and they all go by “Dr.” Lastname, without the (retired) suffix you seem to relish using. You accuse Dr. Tuteur of eschewing fact-based argument in favor of ad hominems, when you’re a far worse offender.

    If Dr. Tuteur is wrong in any of her factual assertions, it should be pretty easy to prove her wrong. If homebirth death rates aren’t as bad as she says they are, why isn’t anyone refuting them with actual math? If the benefits of breastfeeding are more statistically significant than she claims they are, why isn’t anyone refuting her claims with actual numbers? Instead, you and everyone else who complains about her go after her expired medical license and her “mean” tone.”

    • Young CC Prof

      Thank you! I am getting really tired of this latest anti science meme: that criticism and disagreement are forms of persecution, and that being mocked for what you say is somehow equivalent to being silenced by force.

    • Karma Kidney Stone

      Great comment! I noticed there are few comments on the article, so I guess they aren’t letting the majority of comments go through, unless they are all “rah-rah Thinking women! “Dr.” Amy is MEEEN!!!1!” Bummer.

  • Beth S

    Hmm who am I going to listen to a woman who’s spent her life studying and advocating for the safety of mother and baby alike during an inherently dangerous process, or a woman who writes a blog and has a foreign language degree? I think I’ll go with the OBGYN who doesn’t make me feel guilty because I can’t breast feed, who doesn’t expect me to give birth one minute and clean the house the next, and the woman who has spent more hours delivering babies than I could ever dream.
    What I’ve seen of The Thinking Mom, and other websites like it is they are trying to find an easy answer for a disease that’s complex and varied, there are no simple answers and if there were don’t you think the rate of diagnosis would have gone up instead of down?

    • Anj Fabian

      The philosophy of blogs like TMR
      “I’m a mother, so I’m right!”

      At various points, my explanation for why my child did certain things was:
      “I don’t know! I’m only his mother.”.

      Being an observant, thoughtful parent does give you insight and might make you an expert in your child, but won’t make you an expert on anything else.

      • Dr Kitty

        Being a parent makes you an expert in
        1) the fact that the reality of parenting is so much more overwhelming than you thought it would be
        2) the entire colour and textural spectrum of bodily fluids that a baby can produce

        That is it.
        Everything else , YMMV

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        The philosophy of blogs like TMR
        “I’m a mother, so I’m right!”

        But that doesn’t make sense. Most of the contributors here are mothers, too. Why aren’t they right?

        Actually, there’s a funny answer to that: because they don’t insist they are.

        That’s the difference between the contributors here and there. There, there are all parents, and the attitude is, “I’m a parent, so I know it all.” Here, we are parents and the attitude is, “I’m a parent, and far from knowing it all, I am just doing my best.”

        What makes them right? They insist they are. What makes us wrong? We admit we might be.

        • Young CC Prof

          “I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, consider
          that you may be mistaken.”

          My latest thing is spending a few minutes a day reading people who disagree with me and trying to really understand their point of view. Oh, not kooks, political issues where there really are multiple reasonable points of view.

          The Internet really does make it too easy to avoid conflicting information unless you deliberately seek it out. Remember when the paper came to your door and you leafed through the whole thing over breakfast?

        • Jessica S.

          I’m a parent, and so far, the only thing I know is that I was not prepared for what parenthood would be like. And yes, there are days (yesterday was a god awful one) that I think had I known how wretched a 3.5 year old could be, I might have had myself sterilized.

          I know, I’m such a horrible parent for not adding some touching story to the end about how my son said something that made it all better or something. He didn’t. (But today was better. That’s worth something.)

      • Squillo

        Here’s the thing with groups like TMR. The members mistake expertise in their child for expertise period.

        When you have a child with a complex condition (like autism), you are the “expert” in your child. You may know more about your particular child than the doctors. It doesn’t mean you know more about the etiology of autism, or about the characteristics or needs of autistics in general, and it certainly doesn’t mean you know anything about epidemiology or medicine or any kind of science.

    • Rita Rippetoe

      Shock and dismay–you referred to childbirth as a disease–you must hate women, and nature, and puppies, kittens and flowers in the spring. Of the horror. (Satire off)

      • Jessica S.

        She’s referring to autism, I think. That’s TMR main thing, if I’m correctly informed. I don’t read them – my head would explode! :)

  • Jenny_from_da_Bloc

    What cracks me up the most is Jody’s claim that Dr.Amy needs to spend more time in the field of science!!!! This coming from a woman who needed 6 credits in science for her foreign language degree! A village is missing their “thinking mom!”

    • araikwao

      That makes me want to quip something about that village and their idiot, but I won’t..

      • Jenny_from_da_Bloc

        Lol, my sentiments exactly! Actually, she probably only needed 3 science credits for her foreign language degree. I only have a BS in respiratory care and I needed 36 and I don’t go around claiming to be an expert in science. Though I’m 90% positive I have a better understanding Jody.

        • yugaya

          The only remotely sciency bit in layman’s terms about studying foreign language where I come from was a year long course in developmental psychology because it included creating an observational case study for the teaching practice course, carrying it out, analyzing and interpreting the results and presenting them.

          The most scientific bit of studying foreign language actually was two years of discourse analysis. It provides you with skills that enable you to analyze written pieces like her blog and identify the utter lack of logic and objective argumentation in it.

          • Jenny_from_da_Bloc

            My point exactly, she has no real education in physical or natural science and no medical or health science education. She knows how to analyze words and the meaning of words. Hardly science or the background to suggest that a medical doctor needs to spend more time on the field of science
            It’s absurd!

          • Amazed

            I am a translator. I translate fiction. I’ve translated some authors I think should be shot down.

            What do I do when offered to work on law, medical, you name it, highly specialized texts?

            I run away faster than you can say, “But… but that’s your job!”

            No, folks. It ain’t my job. And you don’t really want such documents to be left at the mercy of someone whose only credit is knowing English.

            Same for this Unthinking mom and her boasts. There are those among us who work with foreign languages, professionally, too, lady. And we know our limits. I know YOUR limits, UM. Don’t try to dupe me.

            Colour me totally unimpressed.

          • yugaya

            One of the funny stories I remember from the translation courses was how sometimes the professor who was teaching it translated for her sister who was a doctor working in nearby hospital – whenever they got some new piece of equipment like a CT she had to translate the instructions and she would ask them to test if her translation was accurate by her going into the machine herself – because you know, that is the type of situation in which a bad translation can actually kill a human being. :D

  • Angela

    “We research, we study, we read extensively, and we educate ourselves beyond our degrees to become the best moms we can be. We live in the real world, not on the Internet.”

    There’s that phrase again-”educate ourselves.” How? By auditing a college course in microbiology, immunology, statistics, or research methods? By reading up-to-date college textbooks or primary scientific literature? No, I’m pretty sure she “educates” herself in the echo chamber of the internet or among her like-minded friends.

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      In the meantime, I am actually qualified to TEACH her such a college courses, that could “educate” her in these areas.

      • Amazed

        I imagine how they educate themselves! Much like the student my microbiology acquaintance was complaining about. Something like, “But why do I have to do this in 10 variations, just so you can choose one?” Err, because you don’t want the grade that would reflect your CURRENT state of knowledge after educating yourself, aka the thing you are eager to ready at the first try?

        Or could it be, “You know nothing, Bofa”?

        Not quite. I thing Ygritte was more intelligent than that.

      • Angela

        As am I (though admittedly I’d have a hard time teaching statistics). I don’t know that it would matter. I’ve had friends on Facebook who know my education and the college courses I taught, yet continue to argue with me about infectious disease etiology, vaccine toxicity, and the safety GMO foods.

        • Melissa

          I have a similar issue with my own area of expertise (law) and people who tell me that I don’t really understand law as well as them. I only went to law school and worked in government. They read something on a blog written by someone who agrees with them.

          We can’t win these arguments because they are starting from a conclusion they like instead of actually trying to solve the problem.

      • Siri

        Ah, but Bofa, do you come from a clever family? If not, that there ^^ is just an empty boast.

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          Maybe that’s it. My dad, in fact, never even went to high school. Went to work on the farm when he got past 8th grade.

          • Siri

            You’re perfect as you are, Bofe.

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            My dad is a pretty smart guy, on the whole. Designed and built his own wood burning stove to heat his shop at one point (some really nice engineering).

            I’ve always told him, the biggest difference between him and me is in opportunity. He could have done what I’ve done if he had the chance.

          • fiftyfifty1

            ” He could have done what I’ve done if he had the chance.”
            You mean that if 1980s TV, movies and pop music had been available to him growing up, he too could have filled his brain with worthless trivia?

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            What do you mean “worthless”?

            But his trivia knowledge is about The Lone Ranger, Captain Midnight or Jack Armstrong. He was also apparently quite the dancer in the day (country music style)

    • Beth S

      And here’s the thing you can actually educate yourself in ways that mean something, unlike Google University. You can talk to Pediatricians, GPs, OBGYNs and even MFM doctors about the risks to either you or your child. You can research something well, and come up with a list of questions that these doctors will answer for you. Heck the first question any woman should ask a homebirth midwife is “Are your a CPM or a CNM?” (Thank god CPMs are illegal in my state.)

    • cakesphere

      Educated by Dr. Google, but claims to live in the real world and not the internet.

      Haaaaah.

  • PrimaryCareDoc

    What’s up with the Dr. Tuteur (retired) schtick? I know of no retired doctors who are referred to in that manner. I think she has physicians mixed up with retired military.

    • Beth S

      I think she does that to try to degrade Dr. Tuteur, instead she comes off as a complete boob who needs to learn some manners.

    • Sue

      I think it must be an abbreviation for “Dr Tuteur (retired and therefore has more time than most practising OBs to keep up with every detail of the current literature)”

      (but that was too long for her word limit)

    • Box of Salt

      What about “Dr. Amy Tuteur’s (retired) goat” ? What did the goat do before retiring?

  • Emery

    As someone who has had a hospital birth and wants a home birth, it confuses me why anyone wouldn’t vaccinate their children. I get the homebirth desire, but not vaccinating your children seems extreme. Sometimes I feel like the natural birth community takes anything extreme and supports it as a way to get attention.

    I have this one friend who was a cutter in high school, that’s how she got attention, when she grew up and knew how idiotic that was, she joined the granola group, and I can’t help but think she does it for attention. People are constantly telling her how awesome she is for wanting a home birth, not vaccinating her children, and being vegan and not eating anything processed. She has this little army of supporters. It provides the shock factor that cutting once did, and although 100 times more healthy, I watch her become more and more extreme as time goes on.

    I don’t get why the ncb community has to accept everything that is extreme and natural. I’m sorry, but there is literally no proof that vaccinating your children causes autism, and the risks of not is so much higher that it can’t be justified. I want a homebirth, and I am not in denial of the risks, but I also have never had a c-section and almost don’t make it to the hospitall once labor begins.

    • Beth S

      See with homebirth you know the risks, you know the possible outcome, and considering you have quick labors (I know how that goes, I had an ambulance and still didn’t make it to the hospital.) and know what you’re in for it’s your call to make, and your risk to take. I hope you have a good backup plan in case something does go wrong (I’d say this to any mother considering home birth and even though I don’t know your personally I say this to you with all the respect in the world.)
      When you don’t vaccinate your children you not only put your own kids at risk with no little to no risk to yourself (Most of us have been vaccinated.) but you put others in the community at risk as well. The anti-vax crowd has come to the erroneous conclusion that vaccines cause Autism because of one crappy study by a disgraced Doctor. They site the current rise in Autism diagnoses to confirm their superstitions when fact of the matter is we’ve just gotten a lot better at diagnosing it in recent years.
      Anti-Vaxxers cite better sanitation and all around better general health as reasons for the drop in deadly diseases without accepting that without vaccines Measles, Mumps, Polio, Whooping Cough, and some strains of the flu would wipe out entire populations. The question for them I have is “Do you vaccinate your dog against rabies? If you do why is it okay for your dog to be protected and not your child?

      • Emery

        Thanks, and I definitely respect your advice. Honestly if my labor lasts longer than normal or the pushing, then I’m heading to the hospital. I mainly am planning a homebirth in case I don’t make it to the hospital. This is my third and my other two I had within 30 minutes of getting there. I’m not some nutcase either. I’d get the epidural if i had time! And I LOVE the dog argument. So true! The other thing is, I’d you are so natural, shouldn’t you grow your own food, not use electricity, and certainly not use gasoline?

        • T.

          But then they couldn’t use the internet to tell us how educate they are!

        • Beth S

          Hey nothing wrong with planning ahead. I’m getting sterilized after this one, so for me planned C-section with a tubal is the way to go. Plus my DH loves the fact that all three of his kids will have the same birthday (His two older children and our biological child together will all have the same date my older DD isn’t his bio kid even though he’ll fight you if you tell him she’s not because he’s been there since Day 1).
          The dog argument came from my wise mother who used it on me when I was pregnant with the older DD and thinking about not vaxxing. It made sense to me and has been the one I’ve used ever since. But I like yours too.

      • yugaya

        “Anti-Vaxxers cite better sanitation and all around better general health as reasons for the drop in deadly diseases.”

        Because smallpox totally got eradicated with soap.

      • araikwao

        Yeah, well the Haemophilus influenzae B (HiB) vax has been around about 15 years here. The tertiary paediatric hospital has gone from treating 150cases per year of Hib epiglottitis (a potentially life-threatening condition) to 0 since its introduction. And that doesn’t touch all the cases of meningitis and resulting life-long disability it prevents, either, i don’t know the stats for that.
        Pretty sure that hygiene/sanitation/nutrition has not changed all that much in the last 15yrs.

        • The Computer Ate My Nym

          And hepatitis B vaccination has caused a noticable drop in not only hepatitis B infection but also hepatocellular carcinoma in Taiwan.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        But autism probably isn’t even rising. It’s probably just better diagnosis. There is at least one paper that demonstrated a decrease in the diagnosis of mental retardation that corresponded to an increase in the diagnosis of autism, with an essentially stable level of autism + MR. And that’s not counting the aspies who are now getting diagnosed…

    • Trixie

      If you can’t make it to the hospital once labor begins, how do you know a midwife will make it to your house by then? Have you read Jenny’s story?

  • MaineJen

    “I snorted my herbal iced tea out my nose…” LOL! Thank you for that, it’s been a tough day and I needed a giggle. You’re right, this should have been an Onion article.

  • The Computer Ate My Nym

    Arguably off topic: One of the sad things about the NCB movement is that by allying with the anti-vaxxers and going in for biological essentialism, they make the very reform they are striving for harder. There is a “business of being born”. Hospitals don’t make those fancy low risk childbirth suites out of the goodness of their hearts. No, they do it because obstetrics is a money maker: well compensated by most insurance*, relatively low resource requirement, often occurs in healthy, well-insured people, etc. There are definitely problems, injustices, and poor practice in OB/GYN, as there are in all areas of medicine. But it’s hard to get any attention focused on the actual issues when there are so many people screaming about hatting and vaccines. I’d like to see more reality based, biologically and medically sophisticated critiques of how obstetrics–and other areas of medicine–work. But they’re not likely to get any publicity while we’re got Ina May to distract us.

    *Stop giggling hysterically, OBs. Just think about what you make compared to the non-procedural specialties.

    • Medwife

      I am giggling hysterically at “often…healthy”. Hee hee! I’ve heard of that situation but I’ll believe it when I see it!

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        But Medwife, don’t you know that pregnancy isn’t a disease ;-). Seriously, most pregnancies really do occur in young women who are less likely to have chronic illnesses so from the hospital’s point of view, they’re relatively simple and healthy. Except, of course, when they’re not.

    • yugaya

      There is also an unbelievable quantity of old fashioned patriarchal misogyny in the NCB ideology once you look past the “feminist rights” and “women’s choices” labels they self-proclaim to be fighting for.

      • Young CC Prof

        It’s important for women to have choices so they can make choices that the Nature Police approve of.

  • Kory Oransky

    As someone who qualifies to be a K-12 foreign language instructor (BA Russian, area of concentration in Spanish), who was at one time certified to translate for law enforcement purposes AND who once worked with Russian refugees, please allow me to give my professional opinion on the qualifications of Margulies and McGillivray.

    They’re not the sharpest tools in the shed, are they?

  • The Computer Ate My Nym

    her nasty blog

    I’m very, very sorry to do this to everyone, but…
    I now have running through my mind to the tune of Janet Jackson’s “Nasty Boys”…”Nasty, nasty blogs, don’t mean a thing. Oh you nasty blogs.” Hopefully most of you are too young to get this one.

    • LibrarianSarah

      There are reasons other than age for people to have no recollection of the 80s.

      • The Bofa on the Sofa

        Not me!

    • The Bofa on the Sofa

      No my first name ain’t baby, it’s Janet.
      Miss Jackson, if you’re nasty…

    • Anj Fabian

      The Nasty Girl

      A student does an essay “My Town During the Third Reich” expecting to find a history of resistance against the Nazis. Instead she uncovers collaboration and cooperation with the Nazis during WWII.

      This makes her very unpopular indeed.

    • CanDoc

      Do – do – do-do-do-do-do – Oh you nasty blogs, Huh!

  • MLE

    This is seriously pathetic and sad. I feel bad for her now! She obviously suffers from critically low self-esteem.

    • MLE

      Sadly I understand her more than I would like to admit. My family is quite accomplished, while my skills and achievements (although respectable) do not measure up to them. I can see how tempting a little self aggrandizement would be, and once begun, how hard it would be to quit.

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    So let’s make sure we get this straight:

    A retired doctor is not qualified to criticize the medical views of a person with a PhD in English, BUT a former K-12 foreign language instructor is qualified to support them.

    That is just messed up on many levels.

  • The Computer Ate My Nym

    We live in the real world, not on the Internet.

    She said. In a blog post. On the internet.

    • Monica

      And where exactly do those hours and hours of research occur? Surely on the internet through the powers of google. But only if you come to the same conclusion of doctors = money hungry murderers and rapists can you then claim to have educated yourself. Should you have your babies in the hospital with a doctor and vaccinate on schedule, then you are not a thinking mom and therefore are not intelligent. Isn’t it funny that she starts out talking about wanting women to have choice, but then ends with if you choose to believe doctors, then you aren’t a thinking mom and you have been duped?

      • Young CC Prof

        I especially like what one commenter said about how, by arguing with her, Dr. Amy is “shutting down discussion.”

        See, this is how discussion works. I say something, you say something, I say something. Even if we disagree, believe it or not, it’s still a discussion!

        • araikwao

          But that’s not how an echo chamber is supposed to work!! It should all sound the *same*!

        • The Bofa on the Sofa

          Well, it’s true, saying things that the other person cannot respond do does tend to stifle discussion

    • PrimaryCareDoc

      It’s amazing how a black hole of irony didn’t open up and swallow her and her laptop instantaneously.

    • Captain Obvious

      I snorted my Blue Moon wheat ale out my nose…haha

  • Dr Kitty

    She built the hangar?
    With her own two hands?

    Otherwise, her skills seems to be talking to people, delegation, self promotion and reporting hearsay as fact.

    Which is everysuccessful middle class woman, ever.

  • Dr Kitty

    Is Phi Beta Kappa a sorority?

    • Trixie

      It’s an academic honor society, the oldest in the US. I’m in it. Probably a lot of people here are. All it means is you get a lot of reaaaallly boring junk mail for the rest of your life after you graduate.

      • Dr Kitty

        How do you qualify?

        • Young CC Prof

          1) Go to a school with a chapter (many do, not all)

          2) Earn good grades.

          3) Get 2 or 3 recommendation letters from faculty.

          • Trixie

            At our school, there was no applying or getting recommendation letters. You just got a letter one day saying you were in and what time to show up for the ceremony. Oh, and it was $75, which was a lot of money to me at the time.

          • Dr Kitty

            Right school, right grades, right connections.
            Got it.

          • Trixie

            I really liked the guy who ran our PBK chapter. He was a salty old Philosophy prof. He had also taught my dad before me, and I ran the (unrelated to PBK) club he had founded…so yeah, connections.

          • Beth S

            You want to talk about connections, I had two different high school teachers that had taught both of my parents They spent the year calling me Skipper because my parents names were Ken and Barbie (no joke).

          • PBK ’99

            Not really – I went to a large state university (read: nonselective; not remotely prestigious) and had zero connections. I did have excellent grades.

        • Trixie

          First, you have to go to an institution that has a PBK chapter. These tend to be elite private institutions, mostly in the Northeast, although not exclusively so. Then, there’s a committee at that school made up of other PBK faculty, who nominate seniors into the society. You generally have to have distinguished yourself academically pretty well.

          • CalBear96

            Not just seniors. There are junior inductees as well. (The GPA cut off is higher.) I was a junior inductee my sophomore year (all my Advanced Placement credits were counted). My school (UC Berkeley) also just sent letters (no application/no letters of rec). I had no absolutely no connections. I had never even visited California before I started school there.

            It lets you list it under “Honors” on your resume…which is only really relevant for your resume straight out of college.

      • sleuther

        You can also wear the golden PBK key pendant! I actually like mine.

        Also, Fred Rogers inducted me into PBK, which was awesome.

        • Trixie

          Whaaaat? Jealous forever. That’s awesome.

          I’m not sure where my pendant is.

          • sleuther

            Thanks. He was exactly the same in real life as he was on his TV show – just the kindest, gentlest soul.

            Re pendants: I know you can order a replacement one (there is info in the junk-mail they send out 4 times a year…)

          • The Bofa on the Sofa

            He was exactly the same in real life as he was on his TV show

            He was wearing a sweater and loafers?

          • sleuther

            I think he had a suit on! LOL

          • Trixie

            My aunt met him once, and he spent 10 minutes asking her all about her life. She said the same thing. Talking to Mr Rogers is her happy place.

          • An Actual Attorney

            Mine hangs on my childhood teddy bear, which sits on a shelf in our guest room.

        • http://kumquatwriter.wordpress.com/ Kq

          Omg, you are so lucky! Fred Rogers is my hero.

          • sleuther

            Thank you. Carnegie Mellon University, go Tartans. (Intentional lack of exclamation point.)

      • Captain Obvious

        I gotta pin and certificate, haven’t heard from them since.

        • Trixie

          Really? They keep following me every time I move. That newsletter makes me want to gouge my eyes out.

    • attitude devant

      As an honor society it’s a little outmoded now. It had its beginnings when we were a young country and most of the ‘colleges’ were glorified finishing schools or even trade schools, and there were some limitations on freedom of thought and expression within them. It was supposed to encourage progressive scholarship and academic pursuits. Now it’s just a credential that you put on your resume.

  • from cali

    Fan of Jen Margulis’ Dr. Biter is speaking at a CPM convention in Chicago. It list him as founder of Babies By the Sea birthing centers. He doesn’t even have ONE open. He can’t lie to us in SD anymore but boy can he bring it elsewhere.http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Ina-May-Gaskin-s-Safe-Motherhood-Quilt-Showing–.html?soid=1102527925290&aid=H6HilWtdOhg

    • CrownedMedwife

      How befitting of a CPM conference to be held in a nonCPM state, centrally located between two CPM states featuring a presentation “When Birth and Death Collide: Preserving the Sacred and
      Protecting Ourselves”. For those anticipating CPM attended births in that tristate area Mother’s Day Weekend, rest assured…while your CPM is away, you will be safer in the hands of real Midwives and Physicians while your lay midwives learn how to plan ahead and protect themselves the next time they lead a family into a preventable death and call it “sacred”.

      • Amazed

        AnnaC wins the internet today.

        Great slogan.

        • Karen in SC

          It depends. Is it a real featured presentation? or a spoof? You can’t really tell, can you?

          • Amazed

            I wouldn’t dare if I could! These women’s actions surpass my imagination by far – and my mom says I live by my imagination.

      • The Computer Ate My Nym

        I’m a hematologist/oncologist. Oncology isn’t what it used to be, but there’s still quite a bit of death involved. Hematology is almost as bad (think about what happens to people with sickle cell disease or myelodysplastic syndrome). So our conferences address death, dying, and mourning fairly often. I’ve yet to see one where “protecting ourselves” is the main focus. It’s usually about helping the person who is facing death and making their last days easier. Sometimes it’s about helping the survivors cope. Occasionally burnout and the feelings physicians face when their patients die come up. But I’ve yet to see self-protection be the main focus of the discussion. Maybe I’m going to the wrong conferences.

        • CrownedMedwife

          Closest I can think to a similar conference was when Medical Disclosure and Apology concepts were first introduced. Then again, that had everything to do with full disclosure and sincere apology…not placing blame on mothers for the ineptitude of homebirth midwives. Funny, the Disclosure and Apology conferences never mentioned using “some babies aren’t meant to live’ when addressing preventable losses.

      • araikwao

        That’s for real? How awful. The leading cause of preventable homebirth death, aren’t they? But at least they’re protecting themselves from ever acknowledging that it’s CPMs that are the problem.. And on a snarkier note, why don’t they run this kind of seminar for taxi drivers? Oh, wait, taxi drivers wouldn’t need it, because your baby is safer in their hands than a CPM.

  • AnnaC

    Hmm, I’m very amused by the argument that Dr Tuteur’s medical qualifications are invalid because she is not practising but that Dr Margulis has valid medical qualifications because her PhD entitles her to the title ‘Dr’.

    • Young CC Prof

      As every academic anywhere has said, “Not that kind of doctor.”

  • Trixie

    I’m going to go ahead and surmise that the rural women knew a lot more about off season gardening in Niger than their supposed “director”.

  • Isilzha

    These people seem to have zero clue about what it means to be in the science or medical field.

    http://www.skepticalraptor.com/skepticalraptorblog.php/false-ideology-science-deniers-research-easy/

  • Amy M

    It’s a little pedantic, but isn’t the phrase “band together”? Though, they do all “ban” together as well, since they ban everyone and everything that doesn’t fit into their echo chamber.

    • Trixie

      The lunatics who ban together, stay together.

    • Young CC Prof

      ^Oh yeah.

    • S

      Yeah i couldn’t tell if the title would end up being a pun or a typo. I don’t really want to ask Amy to correct it, because it made me smile.