“The Birth Industry’s Dark Side” by Julia Belluz, was published in “Vox” in September 2018. Her article explores the ways in which the medicalization of childbirth in the United States has led to unnecessary interventions and procedures, often driven by profit motives.
“How Corporations Profit From Rape” by Katha Pollitt, published in “The Nation” in October 2018, speaks pointedly to concerns about labor safety. The article discusses the ways in which corporations may profit from sexual assault and harassment and highlights how profit motives could drive unethical behavior in healthcare and other industries.
Marshall Allen and Rachel Bluth’s article addressing allegations that private equity firms were increasingly buying up hospitals, and questioning whether this will help or hurt patients, was published in “Kaiser Health News” in May 2021.
These concerns had much to do with, not only the pace at which this was happening, but the motives behind it. This also highlights a degree of doubt about their ability to provide quality labor and delivery services, and how the alleged focus on profits may be putting patients at risk.
In recent years, there has been a growing concern that private equity firms and publicly traded companies that own medical facilities are putting their profits above the health and safety of women in labor. Some writers and researchers have pointed out that these companies may be encouraging unnecessary interventions and medical procedures in order to increase revenue.
The concerns call for urgent intervention because private equity firms and publicly traded companies have a fiduciary duty to their shareholders to maximize profits. This often involves cutting costs and finding ways to increase revenue. While this may be acceptable in other industries, it becomes a problem when applied to healthcare. Women in labor being in a vulnerable position seem to be a statement in fact, and whether their health and safety is always the top priority comes into question.
There is deep concern that private equity firms and publicly traded companies that own medical facilities may be incentivized to turn normal births into emergencies. This is due to the fact that emergency procedures are typically more expensive and generate more revenue.
For example, a C-section is one of the most common emergency procedures performed during labor and delivery. Given the stupendous, unnatural rise in this birthing option, however, brings forcefully to mind that it could very well be because it is also one of the most expensive procedures, costing up to three times as much as a vaginal delivery.
In addition, concerned parties have argued that private equity firms and publicly traded companies may also be encouraging unnecessary interventions for full term pregnancy, such as inducing labor, performing episiotomies or using forceps or vacuum extraction. These interventions that may not be medically necessary, can lead to complications and increase the risk of injury or death for the mother and baby.
The medical facilities in question may be understaffing their labor and delivery units in order to cut costs as well. This can lead to overworked and exhausted staff, which increases the risk of medical errors and complications during labor and delivery.
While private equity firms and publicly traded companies can bring much-needed investment and resources to the healthcare industry, their focus on profits may come at the expense of the health and safety of women in labor. It is important for these companies to prioritize patient care and safety above their financial interests. Women in labor deserve to receive the best possible care, and healthcare providers should always act in their best interest.
Here is a list of eleven possible complications associated with C-sections that pregnant women need to bear in mind to ensure that it is always the last resort method for delivery.
a) Infection at the incision site or within the uterus.
b) Excessive bleeding during or after the surgery.
c) Blood clots forming in the legs (deep vein thrombosis) or lungs (pulmonary embolism).
d) Adverse reactions to anesthesia or other medications.
e) Injury to organs such as the bladder or bowel during surgery.
f) Delayed bowel function and digestive issues.
g) Wound dehiscence, where the incision reopens.
h) Formation of scar tissue (adhesions) that can cause pain or fertility problems.
i) Respiratory problems in the newborn, such as transient tachypnea or respiratory distress syndrome.
j) Increased risk of complications in future pregnancies, such as placenta previa, placenta accreta, or uterine rupture.
k) Being left with no choice but to go the C-section route for future deliveries.
These decisions should always be made through consultation with your medical doctor.