It seems I hear these types of scenarios all the time: A mother hiding the fact that she hadn't weaned her baby from her pediatrician. Another lying about how long her water has been broken when arriving at the hospital. Yet another abandons her birth plan when the doctor yells and belittles her choices.
We need to speak with our dollars. The medical community shouldn't be any different than any other industry. When you go to buy a car and the salesperson is incredibly offensive and rude you leave. At least I hope you would. If a restaurant wouldn't give you the food you wanted you would demand your money back and never return. Why should doctors, hospitals, midwives, and nurses be any different?
Withholding your dollars from care providers you don't agree with will send the strongest message. First of all, it's not really fair to withhold your true opinions from your care provider. They don't know how to help you if you don't make it clear what you want. If you're going to be asking for a professional medical diagnosis then they need all the information. When enough patients stop going to a rude or inflexible person, then that person will have to change or become unemployed.
As an example, when hospitals started losing money to out-of-hospital birth centers and home births, they changed the labor and delivery rooms to look more home-like. They installed labor tubs and bought birth balls. There's no reason why consumers can't continue to push for what they want.
Walking into a medical office or hospital shouldn't make us lose our backbones. They're not our bosses; they're our hired help. That's not to say medical professionals aren't smart or skilled, because I'm sure most of them are. The point is that they need to remember not only the ethical considerations of things like personal autonomy, but also the economics of pleasing the customer.
I hope you never feel like you have to do what a medical person tells you to do. Get information from them, weigh your options, and then make the choice that is best for YOU. After all, you're the one who has to live with the consequences of the choices you make for yourself or your child.
Hopefully, you've had wonderful, empowering experiences in the medical community and have no idea what I'm talking about. If so, here are just a few stories where patients should have spoken with their money and hired providers that treated them with respect.
Mother is Forced to Have C section
Mother is Refused a C section
Maybe you're thinking, "But what if the patient makes a bad decision and the care provider gets blamed for it?" You should read my post about personal responsibility. In short, they shouldn't. We shouldn't sue when a care provider does what they were hired to do. Let's remember that they're not gods, and tragedy can happen no matter what. It's better if we own our tragedies.