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#61 of 146 Old 08-21-2006, 12:25 PM
 
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In theory, you could carry these restrictions farther. I could insist on maintaining my principles and refusing to accept:
Anyone planning to circumcise, and by extension
All Jews, and
All Moslems. Also
Parents who will not be breastfeeding
Parents who believe in spanking

A doula is hired to help a woman with her birth, not as the overseer and judge of all her moral and ethical decisions thereafter.
Welcome to my world, Rebecca. Choosing to stand up against gential mutilation will at times, make you go against others faith. (I won't pursue this further as I don't want this thread pulled). "Luckily" for the doulas here that do not support circumcision in the United States, it crosses all religious, racial, financial, and cultural barriers. EVERYONE does it!! WOO HOO!! So we can be prejudice against them all! YAY.


Everyone can do it. Circumcision is the option of every American. I will not support it at all.
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the parents have a right to choose

And so does the doula.

wife - mother - midwife

CIRCUMCISION

The more you know, the worse it gets.

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#62 of 146 Old 08-21-2006, 01:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I just talked with the mom. She knew it was coming. I told her I was really upset after out meeting last week, came home and had to do a lot of soul searching. I realized I couldn't be what she needed from me, she interrupted me and said, "I don't think so either," so at least it's mutual! We talked a bit more, she said it was hard because she really likes me, so she doesn't want this to get in the way of the times we have to be around each other, I said I liked her too, and I didn't want that either. I also told her it seemed she was conflicted about it, and she inticated that they felt like they had to look ito it more after my reaction on Thursday. I told her I didn't have "the research about the emotional side of it, but if you need science, I have tons of stuff." She even admitted that the logic of doing it only if the insurance covers it is really messed up.

I feel so relieved. Thank you to everyone who helped me find my way, even the people who didn't think I was doing the right thing. Even they helped me realize how strongly I feel.

R~mama to 3

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#63 of 146 Old 08-21-2006, 02:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by BethSLP
sorry to be the lone dissenter here. but here goes:

I am vehemently anti-circ myself. HOWEVER, I think you are being incredibly unprofessional agreeing to take on people who have not decided on circ with it in your mind that they will "come around."

Like it or not, circ does happen in this country and the parents have a right to choose it within our current laws. I absolutely applaud those of you out there that refuse to work with people who are going to circ. but i think its just plain wrong to ditch a pregnant woman and get her a replacement after you've been working with them all this time.

and for those of you who are wishing someone to have a deep episiotomy or a tear "because they deserve it." I think you need some professional help. That is such a horrible thing to wish on someone.

I understand your horror at how someone could make the circ decision, but there are a lot of people out there who (even with all the literature you give them) are going to do what they know. its what they've seen their whole life. Esp. if the father is circ'ed and he feels fine about it, he just may be incapable of seeing the truth on the issue.

Again, I know I'm gonna get flamed like mad (I'm ready for it) but I HAD to say something. I am against circ and would not work with someone who circed if I was a doula. But in the future, you need to MAKE THIS CLEAR. Otherwise you are no better than OBs who throw the gauntlet about inductions at the last second, etc. etc. Every professional person needs to be open and honest with who they are working with. Choosing you as their birth assistant was extremely personal for them and they are entering in a trust relationship with you. The fact that you were not honest about your feelings on circ early on and had the idea you would change them is absolutely not acceptable to me.

In the future, please tell couples BEFORE they hire you that you do not work with circ'ing couples.

XOXO
B
I have not worked as a 'doula' per se, but I have had doula training and as a birth assistant working with midwives in birth center and homebirths much of my role at births is supporting women in a doula-like way throughout labor, so I'll share my thoughts.

You know, I do really understand where you're coming from, and when it comes to wishing birth trauma on a woman as a price for what she's planning on subjecting her child to, I agree. We shouldn't wish pain, trauma, damage on anyone to 'teach them a lesson'.

I also can empathize with your feelings about accepting a pregnant woman as a doula client, hoping she'll come around on the circumcision issue. I don't think it's acceptable to be dishonest, while at the same time I think taking on such a client provides a doula with an incredible amount of opportunity to gently share the truth about circumcision; most loving, naturally-oriented mommas will 'get it'. If the doula had never worked with them to begin with, because they initially were considering circumcising...they may not have received the information and guidence necessary to make an ethical, respectful, informed choice.

If I were working as a doula right now, I think I'd make sure I discussed circumcision in the initial intervew. Honestly, I'm not even sure I'd want to doula a woman who wasn't committed to at least attempting breastfeeding (unless there was a medical reason for not doing so). It's not that I think all women don't deserve an empowering birth experience, it's that I don't think I have it in myself to not contribute negative or resentful energy at a birth where I know the woman is planning to make obvious/significant poor or harmful choices with her child. This is especially true if she or a partner who's opinion she respects/falls in line with was not open to learning more about relevent childbirth newborn care issues. I can't help someone who doesn't help themself.

Also, is it possible that being completely up front about not working with couples who circumcise may make a moderately crunchy parent who's not circing but isn't exactly an intactivist view a doula as judgemental or pushy? And if they otherwise like the doula, or she is the most affordable/available/whatever...might they LIE to her if they were planning on circing?

Maybe we should start a thread to discuss ways of talking about circumcision during the initial intervew, how to probe women/couples for their feelings on the topic, how to test the waters to determine whether or not they're open to learning more...and how to broach leaving their son's penis whole as a condition for our employment?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamabadger
I think my anti-circ credentials are as good as anyone's, and I live in a place where few new babies are circumcised and it's not generally accepted. However, I think a professional caregiver, whether OB, midwife, or doula, has no business telling clients how to live their lives. Providing information is one thing, but choosing only clients who agree with you seems a little presumptuous to me...A doula is hired to help a woman with her birth, not as the overseer and judge of all her moral and ethical decisions thereafter. :
Doula's are not obligated to work with women they aren't comfortable with or don't 'click' with. I could not work with a woman who planned on having her daughter or son's genitals mutilated; sorry, but I don't see that on the same level as many other parenting decisions, like spanking or even breastfeeding. Circumcision guarentees damage; it permanently removes healthy tissue from the genitals of a non-consenting minor. It normally occurs soon after birth, while the newborn is adjusting to life outside the womb and is (usually/hopefully) trying to get the hang of breastfeeding.

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Originally Posted by dnr3301
And you know what? I don't feel as strongly about bf-ing as I do about circumcision, which is a big shock to me actually. I am definitely biased towards bf-ing, but I have seen people lovingly bottlefeed babies. You can't lovingly cut off part of a baby's penis. And I talk a big talk about gentle parenting....What about you? would you work with someone who was going to toss the baby in the trash as soon as it was born, just so she got a good birth? I get to make moral decisions about who I surround myself with. So do you. I have to live with MY choices, not you.


Jen
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#64 of 146 Old 08-21-2006, 02:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dnr3301
I just talked with the mom. She knew it was coming. I told her I was really upset after out meeting last week, came home and had to do a lot of soul searching. I realized I couldn't be what she needed from me, she interrupted me and said, "I don't think so either," so at least it's mutual! We talked a bit more, she said it was hard because she really likes me, so she doesn't want this to get in the way of the times we have to be around each other, I said I liked her too, and I didn't want that either. I also told her it seemed she was conflicted about it, and she inticated that they felt like they had to look ito it more after my reaction on Thursday. I told her I didn't have "the research about the emotional side of it, but if you need science, I have tons of stuff." She even admitted that the logic of doing it only if the insurance covers it is really messed up.

I feel so relieved. Thank you to everyone who helped me find my way, even the people who didn't think I was doing the right thing. Even they helped me realize how strongly I feel.
Wow, I admire you SO much for taking a stand and telling it like it is. You're refusal to work with this couple is already making them realize that circumcision is a far more significant/serious decision than they'd thought. You're reaction made them think, "Gee...She thinks this is a really big deal. Maybe it IS. Let's look into it more..." and that in itself is an INCREDIBLE ACCOMPLISHMENT. I am SO proud of you, and I think you're setting a wonderful example of 'conscientious objection'.

Jen
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#65 of 146 Old 08-21-2006, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by pdx.mothernurture
Wow, I admire you SO much for taking a stand and telling it like it is. You're refusal to work with this couple is already making them realize that circumcision is a far more significant/serious decision than they'd thought. You're reaction made them think, "Gee...She thinks this is a really big deal. Maybe it IS. Let's look into it more..." and that in itself is an INCREDIBLE ACCOMPLISHMENT. I am SO proud of you, and I think you're setting a wonderful example of 'conscientious objection'.

Jen
Thank you.


R~mama to 3

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#66 of 146 Old 08-21-2006, 02:23 PM
 
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Just to be clear, I agree that if you or any individual doula feels she'd be morally compromised by working with a family that circs, her choice is clear.

However, I do wonder how everyone would feel about an OB who refused to continue providing care for a pregnant woman because she had had an abortion, abused her other children, committed adultery, or anything else he personally disapproved of. Is it really his business?
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#67 of 146 Old 08-21-2006, 02:26 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamabadger
Just to be clear, I agree that if you or any individual doula feels she'd be morally compromised by working with a family that circs, her choice is clear.

However, I do wonder how everyone would feel about an OB who refused to continue providing care for a pregnant woman because she had had an abortion, abused her other children, committed adultery, or anything else he personally disapproved of. Is it really his business?
I think there's a difference between a past choice and something that the the mother is currently contemplating/planning/insisting upon.

Jen
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#68 of 146 Old 08-21-2006, 03:00 PM
 
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Originally Posted by dnr3301
I just talked with the mom. She knew it was coming. I told her I was really upset after out meeting last week, came home and had to do a lot of soul searching. I realized I couldn't be what she needed from me, she interrupted me and said, "I don't think so either," so at least it's mutual! We talked a bit more, she said it was hard because she really likes me, so she doesn't want this to get in the way of the times we have to be around each other, I said I liked her too, and I didn't want that either. I also told her it seemed she was conflicted about it, and she inticated that they felt like they had to look ito it more after my reaction on Thursday. I told her I didn't have "the research about the emotional side of it, but if you need science, I have tons of stuff." She even admitted that the logic of doing it only if the insurance covers it is really messed up.

I feel so relieved. Thank you to everyone who helped me find my way, even the people who didn't think I was doing the right thing. Even they helped me realize how strongly I feel.
I applaud you, as well. As far as I'm concerned, legal or not, circumcision is a human rights issue and if you don't feel comfortable working with a particular client, you don't have to. You aren't obligated to work with anyone.

On a side note: I hope that couple comes around and changes their mind before it's too late.
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#69 of 146 Old 08-21-2006, 03:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by coloradoalice
If I were in your position I would completely refund them whatever they have paid and tell them that I simply could not work with them anymore. I really couldn't pin my hopes on a 50/50 chance. What they want to do should it be a boy is sick and wrong. I would not be able to see past that.
This is what I would do. JMO. If I were hiring a doula I would want someone's total support. And I know if I were the doula of such a couple there would be this big elephant in the room the whole time and I wouldn't be able to give my full support- what a laboring woman needs, deserves, and on top of that has paid me for.

A few times parents have had their babies transfered to a different hospital for a particular surgery we don't do and at the same time have circed their boys so they come back to our unit afterward with circed penises. I totally admit I am not a good nurse to these peopel after they come back. I give their little boys good health care but I am not nice to the parents. And I acknowlege this. I am trying to learn to be better and more supportive but I have not learned how to do it yet when they have chosen to mutilate their sons for cosmetic reasons. I am terse and cold and I can't help it. SO I know it would be unfair for someone to hire me for a doula when I know I couldn't give them the sweet warm support they deserve. I would be really hung up on the circ issue and if it was a boy I know I would be rude to them after the birth. I can't support it and pretending like it's not going to happen would feel to me like I am condoning it.

That is just me though. I am sure their are doulas, maybe you are one, who would be able to keep the two area seperate in your head and be a good doula, I know I couldn't. I'd give them a refund and say sorry.
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#70 of 146 Old 08-21-2006, 03:32 PM
 
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I think my anti-circ credentials are as good as anyone's
Mamabadger,

I have a question for you. What makes your "anti-circ credentials" so good may I ask? What exactly do you do to actively end RIC? Please enlighten me.

Thanks.
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#71 of 146 Old 08-21-2006, 03:40 PM
 
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Oh, they aren't even paying you?

Screw them and stop worrting about "hurting their feelings" and how this is going to effect the relationship you have with the family members you mentioned. I am trying not to talk like I am yelling at you mama but you need to be stronger and stand up for what you believe. You can't let yourself be emotionally blackmailed just because it is family and friends involved. Even the more reason for you to step down right now and say soory, I can't do it. The sooner you tell them no, the more time they have to find other support. I hope the dad realizes that his perverted drive to mutilate his son "to look like him" has caused his wife to lose some really great free labor support. I hope he realizes he is a total ass. Sorry. I have never been one to let family or friends feelings make me do something I don't believe in. But I'm stubborn like that.

Good, I read further and it looks like you are going to step down? Great! I think that this is still good in that hopefully other potential doulas are reading this and will have the guts to stand up and say no to these types of clients (I'm sorry I come across as such a cold beeyotch )
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#72 of 146 Old 08-21-2006, 04:23 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Yoshua
are they Christians?


if so PM me and I will PM you a write up on scripture indicating why people who believe Jesus is the Mesiah shouldn't circ.
I would love this info, also. My sil is about to be married, and I know that once they have children they will be pro-circ. Religios info would be one way that we *might* get them to listen to us.

Thanks!

Kristen
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#73 of 146 Old 08-21-2006, 05:25 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mamabadger
However, I do wonder how everyone would feel about an OB who refused to continue providing care for a pregnant woman because she had had an abortion, abused her other children, committed adultery, or anything else he personally disapproved of. Is it really his business?
Why not use an analogy with the topic we're currently discussing?

How would you feel about an OB that refused to continue to provide care for a pregnant woman when he knew he was going to deliver a child that she would want circumcised?
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#74 of 146 Old 08-21-2006, 05:25 PM
 
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Coming in late here, but I read the entire thread. You did the right thing. You did the only thing you could do in good conscience.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamabadger
Just to be clear, I agree that if you or any individual doula feels she'd be morally compromised by working with a family that circs, her choice is clear.
mamabadger, I'm still a little confused (I know, you were trying to clear things up!) You're anti-circumcision. How do you deal with the knowledge that parents who circumcise are planning to commit a human rights violation on the baby they are birthing with you? How do you separate that out, so that you are not thinking of it during the birth? It is so important to me that baby boys' genital integrity is protected... it isn't something I can turn off. It simmers in the back of my mind at all times (and sometimes boils on the front burner! ) So if I were a doula, I'd be like those in this thread who have said they could not provide support to a couple who plan to circumcise. This issue is just too big to ignore.

~*Kristi*~
Tallulah Dare 8-01,  Marcos Gael 12-04, Cormac Mateo 9-09, Leonidas Ronan 11-11

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#75 of 146 Old 08-21-2006, 05:52 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mara
Good, I read further and it looks like you are going to step down? Great! I think that this is still good in that hopefully other potential doulas are reading this and will have the guts to stand up and say no to these types of clients (I'm sorry I come across as such a cold beeyotch )
thanks for this part, I was starting to feel a little put down. If you read the whole thread, you see some evolution.

R~mama to 3

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#76 of 146 Old 08-21-2006, 05:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mamabadger
Just to be clear, I agree that if you or any individual doula feels she'd be morally compromised by working with a family that circs, her choice is clear.

However, I do wonder how everyone would feel about an OB who refused to continue providing care for a pregnant woman because she had had an abortion, abused her other children, committed adultery, or anything else he personally disapproved of. Is it really his business?
How is it not "his" business? all of those things can impact how labor progresses, depending on how she feels about them. I would expect that any provider worth their pants would want to know all sorts of "unrelated" stuff about the women they work with. People carry their lives into labor, it doesn't happen in a vacuum. And I think past acts are a lot different than future plans. There are docs who won't hand out birth control. I know one doctor here in town who tells the nurses not to offer her patients birth control advice after birth, because nearly everyone she works with uses FAM.

(just noticed my post count has gone up about 50 in the last week! crazy happenings)

R~mama to 3

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#77 of 146 Old 08-21-2006, 06:09 PM
 
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Mamabadger: However, I do wonder how everyone would feel about an OB who refused to continue providing care for a pregnant woman because she had had an abortion, abused her other children, committed adultery, or anything else he personally disapproved of. Is it really his business?
It's called Boycott. It happens everyday in America. It is a very effective way to change undesirable behaviors. Smart people do it.
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#78 of 146 Old 08-22-2006, 03:19 AM
 
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Originally Posted by BethSLP
sorry to be the lone dissenter here. but here goes:

I am vehemently anti-circ myself. HOWEVER, I think you are being incredibly unprofessional agreeing to take on people who have not decided on circ with it in your mind that they will "come around."

Like it or not, circ does happen in this country and the parents have a right to choose it within our current laws. I absolutely applaud those of you out there that refuse to work with people who are going to circ. but i think its just plain wrong to ditch a pregnant woman and get her a replacement after you've been working with them all this time.

and for those of you who are wishing someone to have a deep episiotomy or a tear "because they deserve it." I think you need some professional help. That is such a horrible thing to wish on someone.

I understand your horror at how someone could make the circ decision, but there are a lot of people out there who (even with all the literature you give them) are going to do what they know. its what they've seen their whole life. Esp. if the father is circ'ed and he feels fine about it, he just may be incapable of seeing the truth on the issue.

Again, I know I'm gonna get flamed like mad (I'm ready for it) but I HAD to say something. I am against circ and would not work with someone who circed if I was a doula. But in the future, you need to MAKE THIS CLEAR. Otherwise you are no better than OBs who throw the gauntlet about inductions at the last second, etc. etc. Every professional person needs to be open and honest with who they are working with. Choosing you as their birth assistant was extremely personal for them and they are entering in a trust relationship with you. The fact that you were not honest about your feelings on circ early on and had the idea you would change them is absolutely not acceptable to me.

In the future, please tell couples BEFORE they hire you that you do not work with circ'ing couples.

XOXO
B
Giving you the benefit of the doubt here, I would like to know your opinion and others on this factor: Say you state right from the very start that you're CLEARLY pro-intact and WON'T be hired by the expecting couple if they're for circ or even on the fence about it. And say they state they're against it, but deep into the pregnancy they change their minds. Is alright to drop them as a client then? I would say yes.

Now given the actual dilemma, I can see your point and it is a valid one, yet I can see everyone else's point even more so about not participating as taking a stand 1.) for yourself and 2.) to send a clear message.
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#79 of 146 Old 08-22-2006, 03:22 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mamabadger
It may be taking a chance, but I'm going to agree with Beth. If you can't in good conscience take on clients who plan to circ, they should be notified before you agree to provide your services. It's only fair. In fact, I'll go further: I can't see myself making demands of this kind on a client at all.

I think my anti-circ credentials are as good as anyone's, and I live in a place where few new babies are circumcised and it's not generally accepted. However, I think a professional caregiver, whether OB, midwife, or doula, has no business telling clients how to live their lives. Providing information is one thing, but choosing only clients who agree with you seems a little presumptuous to me.

In theory, you could carry these restrictions farther. I could insist on maintaining my principles and refusing to accept:
  1. Anyone planning to circumcise, and by extension
  2. All Jews, and
  3. All Moslems. Also
  4. Parents who will not be breastfeeding
  5. Parents who believe in spanking

A doula is hired to help a woman with her birth, not as the overseer and judge of all her moral and ethical decisions thereafter.
:
I'm going to take a wild guess here and say you're from Newfoundland.
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#80 of 146 Old 08-22-2006, 03:26 AM
 
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Why not use an analogy with the topic we're currently discussing?

How would you feel about an OB that refused to continue to provide care for a pregnant woman when he knew he was going to deliver a child that she would want circumcised?
According to international agreenments accepted by WMA(World Medical Association) doctor has rhe right to choose to say no if something is against his/hers ethics and moral views(WMA Council Resolution on the Relation of Law and Ethics, 2003). It advices doctors follow their ethics even if current law and doctor's ethics don't match.
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#81 of 146 Old 08-22-2006, 03:49 AM
 
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Jeannine Parvati Baker (may she rest in peace) was a m.w. who would not attend homebirths for parents who planned to mutilate their sons. I always told my clients that they could make the choice for themselves but they would have to drive over my body on the way to the bris.
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#82 of 146 Old 08-22-2006, 10:34 AM
 
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Mamabadger, I have a question for you. What makes your "anti-circ credentials" so good may I ask? What exactly do you do to actively end RIC? Please enlighten me.
I didn't really mean that to be a challenge, but just the usual: didn't circ my sons; teach the harsh facts about RIC in my prenatal classes; publicize the issue where possible. For example, when I have a display or booth for my classes, I usually include a poster and some free literature on genital integrity.
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How is it not "his" business? all of those things can impact how labor progresses, depending on how she feels about them. I would expect that any provider worth their pants would want to know all sorts of "unrelated" stuff about the women they work with.
True, but that's different from finding out whether the patient's values agree with the doctor's and deciding on that basis whether to provide medical care. On that basis, a lot of OBGYNs would refuse care to women who planned to BF past 24 months, for example, or to have a home birth. IMO, that would be paternalistic and inappropriate.

Seriously, I don't think it's my business, either, what decisions a couple will make regarding their child's care. Suppose I'm asked to be doula to a couple who say they just haven't decided yet whether to circumcise? Or, as some might well do, reply that it's none of my concern, I'm just being hired to help with the birth, and what happens in their family afterward is none of my business. To me, that's a reasonable reply.

I think spanking is a good parallel. Others have commented that it's not the same, circumcision is far more traumatic and damaging. Probably so, but a good argument can be made that spanking is as bad or worse. It continues over a much longer period of time, it inflicts emotional damage that can last a lifetime. If I have clients who I suspect intend to use corporal punishment - or to call things by their right names, intend to beat their child - I could refuse to attend their birth. Maybe all the local doulas could refuse them. Would making sure they have to deal with their first labour without support from a doula make them better, kinder parents? If anything, a good birth helps parents make more caring decisions about their children. I can hope to have that kind of effect on my clients if I do my job well, but I can't control what they do with their lives after my work for them is completed.
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#83 of 146 Old 08-22-2006, 11:20 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by mamabadger
True, but that's different from finding out whether the patient's values agree with the doctor's and deciding on that basis whether to provide medical care. On that basis, a lot of OBGYNs would refuse care to women who planned to BF past 24 months, for example, or to have a home birth.
most OBs refuse care to women planning homebirths. not uncommon at all. Plenty of docs have refused care for people who don't want to vax. Pharmacy workers can refuse to give the freaking birth control pill and you think I'm the odd one?

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Originally Posted by mamabadger
Seriously, I don't think it's my business, either, what decisions a couple will make regarding their child's care. Suppose I'm asked to be doula to a couple who say they just haven't decided yet whether to circumcise? Or, as some might well do, reply that it's none of my concern, I'm just being hired to help with the birth, and what happens in their family afterward is none of my business. To me, that's a reasonable reply.
I feel like I'm interviewing them just as they are interviewing me. I have turned down families who wanted to hire me for other reasons, why not because of their circumcision views. If they can't trust me, I have no business in thier birh space.
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Originally Posted by mamabadger
I think spanking is a good parallel. Others have commented that it's not the same, circumcision is far more traumatic and damaging. Probably so, but a good argument can be made that spanking is as bad or worse. It continues over a much longer period of time, it inflicts emotional damage that can last a lifetime. If I have clients who I suspect intend to use corporal punishment - or to call things by their right names, intend to beat their child - I could refuse to attend their birth. Maybe all the local doulas could refuse them. Would making sure they have to deal with their first labour without support from a doula make them better, kinder parents?
So you take them on with the hopes of making them better parents? hmmm, I think that's what I've been accused of, hmmmm? Yes, I think gentle parenting starts with gentle birth, but it doesn't have to. I wouldn't take a family who was going to use corporal punishment either, for the record. I doubt they would hire me, given all my talking about gentle parenting. Every single one of the parents I work with knows some things about me, one of them being my other posistion as an API leader. I talk and walk this stuff. More often than not, the parents who ask to work with me hire me BECAUSE of those things, not in spite of them. They hire me because I am a resource for information on how they want to parent anyway.

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#84 of 146 Old 08-22-2006, 11:22 AM
 
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I didn't really mean that to be a challenge, but just the usual: didn't circ my sons; teach the harsh facts about RIC in my prenatal classes; publicize the issue where possible. For example, when I have a display or booth for my classes, I usually include a poster and some free literature on genital integrity.

True, but that's different from finding out whether the patient's values agree with the doctor's and deciding on that basis whether to provide medical care. On that basis, a lot of OBGYNs would refuse care to women who planned to BF past 24 months, for example, or to have a home birth. IMO, that would be paternalistic and inappropriate.

Seriously, I don't think it's my business, either, what decisions a couple will make regarding their child's care. Suppose I'm asked to be doula to a couple who say they just haven't decided yet whether to circumcise? Or, as some might well do, reply that it's none of my concern, I'm just being hired to help with the birth, and what happens in their family afterward is none of my business. To me, that's a reasonable reply.

I think spanking is a good parallel. Others have commented that it's not the same, circumcision is far more traumatic and damaging. Probably so, but a good argument can be made that spanking is as bad or worse. It continues over a much longer period of time, it inflicts emotional damage that can last a lifetime. If I have clients who I suspect intend to use corporal punishment - or to call things by their right names, intend to beat their child - I could refuse to attend their birth. Maybe all the local doulas could refuse them. Would making sure they have to deal with their first labour without support from a doula make them better, kinder parents? If anything, a good birth helps parents make more caring decisions about their children. I can hope to have that kind of effect on my clients if I do my job well, but I can't control what they do with their lives after my work for them is completed.
I have been following this thread for a bit. I think it is well within a doulas right to work based on her Ethics. I have a lot of respect for sarah and for the OP that they know themselves and how they want to work. When you inform your potential clients of this there is no problem and no issue of not being 100% supportive...everyone is on the same page.

I do also think that it is valid to be a doula who takes on clients who do make different choices. I think it is a personal line. I have had clients who I was deeply troubled by some of their parenting choices. My hope is that supporting people to have the birth of their choice will empower them to be the best parents they can be. Maybe the education I provide will change their hearts on topics like breastfeeding and keeping sons intact. I can not ultimatly make them make the choice I want, but I can always hope that my personal experience and educational literature can help parents make what is the most logical choice.

I do agree with what mama badger says...I also know it is a matter of philosophy that we will never fully agree upon as doulas.
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#85 of 146 Old 08-22-2006, 11:33 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you Saritabeth. I totally agree we need people working this from many different angles. I'm glad there are many kinds of doulas out there, otherwise we'd all be boring and the same.

R~mama to 3

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#86 of 146 Old 08-22-2006, 11:44 AM
 
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Thank you Saritabeth. I totally agree we need people working this from many different angles. I'm glad there are many kinds of doulas out there, otherwise we'd all be boring and the same.
Let the doula lovefest begin!

Im really glad you were able to work it out....I hate client conflict like that, its the WORST!

Hopefully they will rethink their choice and leave their sweet boy be!
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#87 of 146 Old 08-22-2006, 11:54 AM
 
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dnr3301- I am very glad you were able to find a replacement and that things have worked out. I hope that they still reconsider their decision. Maybe even if they do have a boy he will be protected because of the strong stand you took.


mamabadger- Doctors can and do take stances on ethical issues. My own family doctor will not prescribe or refer you to anyone for any sort of pregnancy prevention due to his religious beliefs. He states this at your first visit with him and you can take it or leave it. But he sticks to his own personal beliefs. I believe to be true to your self you must sometimes take a stand. I would never want someone working for me that was harboring negativity about me because of opposing thoughts. It just wouldn't work.
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#88 of 146 Old 08-22-2006, 11:56 AM
 
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Dear Mamabadger:

A boycott is an effective way to express disapproval when money is involved. EVERYONE has the right to boycott. You can boycott a person, a store or an organization if you are at moral or ethical odds with their behavior. It is a totally legitimate and useful way to protest injustice of any kind. I feel that doulas and MD's & Nurses (like the great Marilyn Milos) who are fully committed to the Intactivist movement will employ boycott as a measure to help end this insane practice of infant genital cutting.

Kudos to all of them!
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#89 of 146 Old 08-22-2006, 12:07 PM
 
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I do not have advice, but wanted to say that I am sorry that you are in an uncomfortable position. As a nurse, I hate being put in certain postions, that go against my beliefs and values. It sucks. There are certain area's that I avoid working in to avoid certain things, but other things can not be avoided very easily. I am sorry that you are in an uncomfortable position.
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#90 of 146 Old 08-22-2006, 01:39 PM
 
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Originally Posted by coloradoalice
mamabadger- Doctors can and do take stances on ethical issues. My own family doctor will not prescribe or refer you to anyone for any sort of pregnancy prevention due to his religious beliefs.
I don't think this is quite the same thing, or that the boycott reference really applies, either. A doctor might refuse to prescirbe these things, but that's very different from refusing to treat a patient until he has confirmed that the patient refrains from using contraception.
In this society, even violent criminals are provided medical care. A doctor isn't morally compromised by treating someone who has or will commit atrocities. He's just healing the sick, as he's supposed to.

I take the same approach to doula care. I try to provide good information to my clients, and hope they make the right choices, but they're adults, and ultimately they decide for themselves. Withholding care will only increase the chances of a bad birth experience, which benefits nobody, including the baby.
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