Posted at 4:45 PM Mar 12, 2010By Andrea Grimes
You can be sure, then, that I will forward him and the rest of my kids this article, detailing an Amnesty International study that reports maternity deaths as doubling over the past 20 years. You know, the past 20 years in which medical science has advanced by leaps and bounds.
Deaths from pregnancy and childbirth in the United States have doubled in the past 20 years, a development that a human rights group called "scandalous and disgraceful" Friday. In addition, the rights group said, about 1.7 million women a year, one-third of pregnant women in the United States, suffer from pregnancy-related complications. Most of the deaths and complications occur among minorities and women living in poverty, it noted.Health care reform? Who needs it? Not us, clearly.
"Good maternal care should not be considered a luxury available only to those who can access the best hospitals and the best doctors. Women should not die in the richest country on earth from preventable complications and emergencies," Cox said in a news release.And yet, as we see with my student, the idea that science and progress always know what's best still dominates. Fact is, and this report demonstrates it, very few mothers in the United States have access to the "best" medical care in the whole world--that of the American medical system. Indeed, even monied, healthy women have incredible trouble convincing insurance companies to cover basic care.
The report, "Deadly Delivery: The Maternal Health Care Crisis in the USA," notes that the lifetime risk of maternal deaths is greater in the United States than in 40 other countries, including virtually all industrialized nations.
More info, via Time mag:
... approximately half of the pregnancy-related deaths in the U.S. are preventable, the result of systemic failures, including barriers to accessing care; inadequate, neglectful or discriminatory care; and overuse of risky interventions like inducing labor and delivering via cesarean section. "Women are not dying from complex, mysterious causes that we don't know how to treat," says Strauss. "Women are dying because it's a fragmented system, and they are not getting the comprehensive services that they need."