Minister has it right on home births
Re: Spending a bit can save a lot, Nov. 15.
I support B.C Health Minister Margaret MacDiarmid on home birth.
In our landmark study, we looked at five years of every home birth in B.C., compared to births in hospital by the same midwives and a matched sample of physician births in hospital. The home births included all births that began at home, transferred or not. The transferred births, whether for pain control, fetal concerns, maternal bleeding or anything else were attributed as home births.
The results clearly show home birth by midwives in B.C. is safe. In consequence, the B.C. College of Physicians and Surgeons rescinded prohibition of physicians attending home birth.
It has nothing to do with saving money. It is about choice and autonomy.
How could home birth be safe? Because the regulations of the College of Midwives of B.C. require that the birth take place in a home close to hospital and because the ambulance service is prepared to transport quickly and because hospitals are ready to help as needed.
We physicians can all recall near misses that we think would have been a problem at home. That is not the point. Problems in birth dont just occur; they evolve. The price to pay for safety is a transfer rate of 20 per cent or more for first births safe because the transfer happens early and quickly.
We should be proud of our maternity-care system that integrates safe home birth into the choice available to appropriately screened women.
Michael C. Klein
Emeritus professor of family practice and pediatrics
University British Columbia
A win-win solution for ferry terminals
Re: Two Island centres fight $20 terminal, Nov. 22.
After thinking about this issue for a couple of days, I came up with an answer to the problem faced by Nanaimo, North Saanich and Delta.
These municipalities should buy the terminals from B.C. Ferries for $40 each, doubling the value of the properties to BCF. Then, they could rent them back to BCF for a cost based on services, maintenance and improvements, plus a reasonable profit.
Everyone would win.
We cant risk harm to White Bear Rain Forest
Enbridge Northern Gateway Pipelines Inc. made a big push on Vancouver Island Thursday with a page and a quarter of advertisements on pipeline safety and on a company officer (who says shes a B.C. resident) talking economics in Victoria.
I doubt that anyone questions the benefits to the country of this external trade, but a good many of us do question the advisability of the route chosen for the pipeline. Since no detailed map of the route has been publicised, all we know is that it is going to traverse pristine wilderness, even through a mountain, rather than via existing clear passages to tidewater where easy year-round access to all sections exists.
Certainly there will be little problem in establishing pumping stations in remote areas such as the prairie, even in foothills, but in a mountain and in metre- deep snow on mountain slopes? Really!
Large trees removed, perhaps alongside fish-bearing streams and a new tree planted in another location, while stream-side soil and vegitation is uprooted with the risk of erosion and pollution of spawning beds.
Can we risk the White Bear Rain Forest?
Court should toughen animal-abuse sentences
Re: No jail time for dog slaughter, Nov. 23.
I was shocked to read that Judge Steve Merrick could say that Robert Fawcett, the man who shot and cut the throats of 50 dogs (used as sled dogs to entertain tourists during the Olympics) had their best interest at heart.
He could have tried to find them homes, and if all else failed, he could have had a vet euthanize the ones who were older and sick.
The pain and terror those dogs felt was just as real to them as it would be to a human experiencing the same kind of death.
I was disgusted to hear the dogs brutal death described as euthanasia. My dictionary describes euthanasia as the deliberate putting to death painlessly to end suffering.
This gives other would-be animal abusers the green light to torture animals.
What will it take for Canadian courts to treat animal abuse seriously and hand down the sentence it deserves?
Time to get on with the hockey season
Re: NHL, players resume talks, Nov. 20.
I read with interest the comments that Kris Versteeg of the Florida Panthers made. I am afraid that I have to agree with him that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman and his sidekick should be fired.
I feel that over the years he has been representing the owners he has done a rotten job. Were they hired for life? If not, then it is past time that they go and lets get some new blood in there.
Hockey is Canadas game and should not be run by someone who is a U.S. citizen. Time to get a couple of Canucks in there who care about our national game.
Lets get what is left of our hockey season going.
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