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Pinter & Martin

Birth and Power: A Savage Enquiry Revisited

Birth and Power: A Savage Enquiry Revisited

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Twenty-five years ago, Wendy Savage was suspended from medical practice for alleged incompetence in the management of five obstetric cases. The subsequent debate and public enquiry became a cause celebre. A Savage Enquiry is a gripping account of Wendy Savage's suspension from medical practice for alleged incompetence and her subsequent reinstatement, and identified six policy issues which were raised by the enquiry:

  • Who controls childbirth?
  • What services do women want and who decides what they get? * Who is accountable to whom in the National Health Service?
  • How can the concept of incompetence be defined in a field like obstetrics, where there is a wide range of opinion about the best way to look after pregnant women?
  • Are the procedures for disciplining doctors appropriate and cost effective?
  • How can the freedom of academic staff in medical schools to advance new or unorthodox opinions be protected?

In Birth and Power, Wendy Savage and other eminent contributors examine what has happened since the issues were brought into focus twenty-five years ago and consider what still needs to be done.

Contributions include a woman surgeon's personal account of suspension from practice; an account of the threats to academic freedom written by Anne MacLean, an academic who blew the whistle and suffered the consequences; and a discussion on accountability by the esteemed professor, James Drife. Birth and Power is of particular interest to academics, health workers, social researchers, teachers, students and mothers. Includes the full text of A Savage Enquiry.


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