PETALING JAYA, June 3 — A young woman who sought treatment for a third degree tear after home birth has become the butt of crude and distasteful jokes from doctors who latched on to sarcastic comments posted on Facebook by the doctor who was treating her before delivery.
In the general tirade againt home birth by 26 others including young doctors, one even went as far as saying that the patient should use yam roots and a lidi (coconut leaf skewer) to stitch the wound.
If that was not rude enough, he went on to suggest in a similarly unprofessional vein that the first-time mother use glue and aloe vera to heal herself.
A Kuala Krai medical officer who agreed to the doctor’s post, mockingly said: “Yes, please repair naturally. No analgesia (painkiller) please.
Another doctor belittled the woman and patients who supported natural birth, saying “I guess positive vibes, giving birth while standing, lots of hugs, etc can’t prevent third degree tear? Hmmm, maybe because it was not natural enough.”
A third degree tear involves a tear through the perineal muscles and the muscle layer around the anal canal following a natural birth.
The person who started the sordid affair, a house officer at the Hospital Sultanah Nur Zahirah in Kuala Terengganu, had posted this on her Facebook page on Saturday night: “Homebirth. refused everything. Came to hospital for 3rd degree tear. Yes doctor, please repair my tear. Keep calm and continue oncall :).” (sic)
To add insult to injury, the doctor also included part of the patient’s pregnancy record book in which the woman had said she would not require any medical attention during delivery at home.
The shocking use of unacceptable language and breach of patient-doctor confidentiality has come in for reprimand from the Malaysian Medical Association and the Malaysian Medical Council which took the doctor who belittled the mother and her fellow medical practitioners to task for bringing the profession into disrepute.
A group of mothers who advocate home birth have also expressed outrage over the manner in which the doctors had treated the woman who went for a procedure that had gained acceptance worldwide.
The photograph of the woman has been circulated widely and found its way into other public Facebook postings despite an attempt to erase the patient’s signature.
The first Facebook posting has been taken down but the author and other doctors continue to discuss the matter openly on Facebook.