Alice Miller, child abuse and mistreatment

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Harm to mothers and babies
Saturday January 27, 2007

Can your theories in Drama explain why doctors seem compelled to harm mothers and babies?

Dear Alice Miller
I work as an investigative freelance journalist for The Guardian. If you had time, I would dearly like your view on the galling subject I'm currently researching: the routine induction of women with perfectly healthy pregnancies simply because they have reached the arbitrary 41 week watershed.

In brief: The outcome of induction can be totally catastrophic for mothers and babies. Inductions lead to a very high rate of trauma and complications but the medical profession seems intent on ignoring this and pursuing its policy which it summarises as "If in doubt, get it out". (What does that phrase reveal about the medical establishment's attitude to babies?) Babies induced before they are ready are battered against the pelvis by unnaturally powerful contractions. The drugs used to induce women are derived from pig semen and the urine of pregnant mares (hence creating contractions more appropriate for a horse!)

I'm trying to work out why medics do this to women and babies. One obvious reason is to cover themselves against possible accusations of having not intervened in case of an unhealthy outcome. Another reason is that some women are so unhealthy that hospitals have to use a blanket policy aimed at the lowest common denominator.
However, having read Drama, I have a sense of unconscious and therefore much more powerful drives in the collective psyche of the medical establishment that mean that, despite the evidence that induction is harmful, obstetricians, gynaecologists and midwives continue to practice it rather than just to wait for the baby to be born in his own time.
...(and what drives so many women who allow such practice to be done to them and their babies, trusting that the hospital knows best, refusing to use their own common sense and their instinct that they are carrying a healthy, kicking baby).

I do look forward to hearing from you if possible. I have found your work transformational. I have a feeling that whatever I publish on the subject, however well backed up by logic and studies, nothing will change, unless I am possibly able to unravel some of the unconscious processes behind this phenomenon.
Best wishes
E. T.

AM: Thank you for your thoughtful mail. I totally agree with you and think that we are dealing with a violation of the child and a terrible ignorance of people who should know that they create damages, which can last for the whole life of the human being that is to be born. But if you write to the Guardian and want to be taken seriously, do it rather in your own name because they usually misunderstand my writing so, in my opinion, you will not succeed in having your message coming out correctly.

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