The Lisa Barrett whine

Lisa Barrett has presided over 5 newborn deaths in the past 4 years and now she is being persecuted just because of a few dead babies:

They have raided my house so I no longer have a computer or a telephone, my husband can’t carry on his business as they took his computer and the children can’t do their school projects as they took their computer too. They have the power to prevent a grieving mother from being reunited with her baby. All for a political agenda, to scare and humilitate…

Five babies are dead and Lisa Barrett insists that she is the victim. It is, as usual, all about her.

Any expressions of sympathy for the 5 sets of bereaved parents? Nah. Any sense of regret for the 5 lives lost? Nope. Any explanation of why those deaths were inevitable? Not in 4 of the 5 cases, and in the 5th she offers an explanation at odds with the one the mother gave and not particularly believable in any case. According to Barrett:

It’s one thing to slander me and reprint downright lies about me, it’s totally another to take a woman’s story of her baby born with hydrops due to a brain infarct at 30 weeks (backed up by an MRI when baby was alive) …

1. Hydrops is whole body swelling generally the result of congenital heart failure. It has nothing to do with the brain.

2. Maybe Lisa just got her terms wrong and she meant hydrocephalus (excess fluid in the brain) instead of hydrops. We know that babies in the breech position have a higher incidence of hydrocephalus. That’s why it is IMPERATIVE, before attempting a breech delivery, to determine the exact position of the breech and whether the baby has any anomalies. So, if the baby did have hydrocephalus, that could have been determine beforehand, and the disastrous vaginal delivery could have been avoided.

3. Brain infarcts (strokes), while rare, are not incompatible with life. Depending on the extent of the damage, babies with prenatal brain infarcts can have mild impairment or none at all.

4. The technology for MRI has improved dramatically, but no MRI machine can tell when an old brain infarct occurred. Barrett’s claim that an MRI showed that an infarct occurred at 30 weeks is bizarre, and, as I mentioned above, does not comport with the mother’s claim that a non-specific brain defect existed that was present “at conception.”

But, hey, what’s a few absurd claims among friends? And why mention those four other dead babies anyway when it’s all about her. The 5 dead babies are merely a pretext for “a political agenda to scare and humiliate” her. It’s all a horrible coincidence. The government wants to prosecute Lisa Barrett for unsafe practice and for practicing without a license and they conveniently found 5 dead babies with which they can do it. Or, as a supportive commentor on Barrett’s site described the babies, “new carcasses to pick over.”

I have news for Barrett and her followers, it’s not about her; it’s about those 5 babies who died preventable deaths. No one cares enough about Lisa Barrett to persecute her; she’s just not that important, and not particularly threatening to anyone but innocent newborns. It’s about the “concept that must not be named” in homebirth midwifery circles: accountability.

Far from being an example of government persecution, Lisa Barrett is an example of rogue practitioners who deny the legitimacy of any regulation, who refuse to acknowledge their own limitations, who recklessly preside over multiple preventable deaths, and who feel accountability is for everyone else but them.

The government of Australia is not making an example out of Lisa Barrett. Lisa Barrett is making an example out of herself. She’s made herself Exibit A in a demonstration of the incompetence, recklessness and mind-boggling narcissism of rogue homebirth midwives.

Five babies are dead, Lisa. At least pretend that you care.