Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Complaint and culture

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  • jessica scott, in reply to Sacha,

    Yes, exactly. I don't think the article addressed 'natural birth' at all. There are in fact many benefits to a non-interventionist approach to childbirth- which the article didn't mention. This does, of course, always need to be weighed up against the risks to mother and child.

    What distresses me is that midwives can vary so wildly...

    as do obstetricians, GPs, any health professionals

    Wellington • Since Mar 2010 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • BlairMacca, in reply to B Jones,

    The latter doesn’t bother me, but the former really bugged me last time round when I called at least half a dozen before I could get one to take me on.

    With my wife being a trained nurse this bugs the hell out of her :) I guess we are quite lucky with her being a pediatric nurse, she is well aware of all the risks that go with childbirth. But it still does tempt us, first time at least, to go private.

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 208 posts Report Reply

  • BlairMacca, in reply to jessica scott,

    as do obstetricians, GPs, any health professionals

    True, but the regulations seem to be a lot more lax, as the midwives are outside of the tertiary hospital service

    Wellington • Since Apr 2007 • 208 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Ta. Hadn't spotted your earlier promise to post a copy, sorry.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19705 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to B Jones,

    There’s this. It’s a shame it doesn’t go very far back, though. I suppose you could compare it to this, but unless you could see a sharp change at the time of changeover between systems, it wouldn’t be much use to work out how effective the new policy is.

    As I noted, my takeaway from the story was that there is no monitoring of perinatal harms apart from death of mother or baby. So birth injury that results in severe and lifelong disability isn't counted. This is not good enough.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22807 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to jessica scott,

    There are in fact many benefits to a non-interventionist approach to childbirth- which the article didn’t mention. This does, of course, always need to be weighed up against the risks to mother and child.

    And I suppose reasonable people can disagree on the balance of risk -- and Chisholm came down more on one side than the other.

    There are some horror stories in the feature and, yes, they're only anecdotes, but even one horror story is too many.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22807 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The links are now back on the previous page, so here they are again:

    The story.

    And that cover.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22807 posts Report Reply

  • jessica scott,

    As I noted, my takeaway from the story was that there is no monitoring of perinatal harms apart from death of mother or baby. So birth injury that results in severe and lifelong disability isn’t counted. This is not good enough.

    This is really the crux of the matter and why the article was interesting. This doesn't have to be an anti-midwife issue. I just think it was a pity that it had to be twisted into a war between the old dichotomies to grab attention and sell the mag.

    Wellington • Since Mar 2010 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __, in reply to jessica scott,

    I don’t think the article addressed ‘natural birth’ at all. There are in fact many benefits to a non-interventionist approach to childbirth- which the article didn’t mention. This does, of course, always need to be weighed up against the risks to mother and child.

    My info may be out of date, but I seem to recall a large study in the Netherlands some years back finding that the risks to mother and baby were higher in hospital births than in home births for low-risk deliveries . The reason being that higher levels of intervention carry their own risks.

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3891 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    A little more background, just in.

    TVNZ did not seek costs against McDonald, and actually stated that such an order would not be effective. It was the BSA's decision.

    TVNZ did suggest it could pass on McDonald's "non-material complaints" to the relevant people at TVNZ. I think they can do better than this, which really just makes the complaint disappear.

    McDonald contributed 12% of all complaints about ONE News in 2009/10 (21 out of 174). He has had one complaint upheld.

    As others have noted, he writes his complaints in a difficult-to-decipher style.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22807 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I’ve obtained the text of one complaint in which he was apparently alleging that the isobars on the TV weather map had been altered to provide subliminal advertising for the new Shrek movie:

    Form compl8 one weath 2nite 11p thu
    24 jun 630 fri 25th isobars subliminal advertising new shrek
    animate cartoon movie eye nose face repeat

    He’s clearly somewhat trying to deal with at times.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22807 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Lilith __,

    My info may be out of date, but I seem to recall a large study in the Netherlands some years back finding that the risks to mother and baby were higher in hospital births than in home births for low-risk deliveries . The reason being that higher levels of intervention carry their own risks.

    It would be nice to have such data here ...

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22807 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    He’s clearly somewhat trying to deal with at times

    admirably efficient though :)

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19705 posts Report Reply

  • HORansome, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Given what you've just quoted, I think McDonald might be a spambot. Either that or he comments under a different name but in the same style on my blog.

    Tāmaki Makaurau • Since Sep 2008 • 441 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    He's clearly somewhat trying to deal with.

    Meh. BSA is for judging complaints, not complainants.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    One month away from my wife's due date for our first baby and I've had a fair bit of contact with various midwives, through the classes, hospital appointments etc. And some people are good, some are bad, same as any industry.

    But what's really struck me at this point is that the entire profession seems to cross the line when it comes to advocacy for breast-feeding. I'm aware that there are many proven scientific benefits, that it's preferable to breast-feed your child and so on - but I'm also aware that many woman have huge problems with the practise, so I don't think it's helpful for mid-wives to send the message that failure to breast-feed is tantamount to child abuse.

    And the pre-occupation over breast-feeding seems to cross over into their judgement during deliveries. There's a huge controversy about the role of pain-killers during childbirth - they may, or may not delay the onset of breast milk and a baby's instincts to feed, and many midwives seem to take this debate as settled and strongly oppose the use of painkillers during labour. I've had a few friends who have requested pain relief and whose mid-wives have 'stalled for time' during the delivery until it was too late to perform an epidural.

    And of course nobody complains - at the end of it most mums get their baby and go home to several months of sleep deprivation, during which the idea of making a formal complaint to a DHB is the last thing on their mind.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart, in reply to 3410,

    Meh. BSA is for judging complaints, not complainants.

    But there needs to be a mechanism for dealing with vexatious complaints, surely?

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 825 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to 3410,

    He’s clearly somewhat trying to deal with.

    Meh. BSA is for judging complaints, not complainants.

    But it costs quite a lot of money for each complaint – about one every two weeks from McDonald last year, to TVNZ alone – to go through a fairly complicated process at the broadcaster, and then to the BSA.

    In my view, the BSA made a poor call in this instance, but it was based on a frustrating history.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22807 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to HORansome,

    Given what you’ve just quoted, I think McDonald might be a spambot. Either that or he comments under a different name but in the same style on my blog.

    Could be. He's been around for years on the local internet. And I'm sure he's not malicious, just eccentric.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22807 posts Report Reply

  • Juha Saarinen,

    Since Nov 2006 • 529 posts Report Reply

  • Carol Stewart, in reply to Russell Brown,

    And I'm sure he's not malicious, just eccentric.

    Brian Edwards, when he discussed the BSA ruling on Jim Mora's program, made much of the angle that McDonald was a pensioner being victimised by a big bullying institution. I thought this was completely missing the point. There still needs to be a mechanism for filtering out frivolous complaints. Not that BSA went the right way about it, mind.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 825 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Can I file a complaint against McDonald for using incomprehensible syntax on a publicly broadcast website?

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Simon Lyall,

    I remember hearing years back that Don rings up the council/police daily to complain about minor things. The guy has been wasting people's time for years

    Have you ever been dazzled by car lights? Tonight after 6pm. i reported 3 bicycles and 6 cars to police. They all had no lights or faulty lights. Are they too bright? Why do they shine horizontally- to the horizon and into the sky.

    Today, Monday 22 Nov 99, at 11.40 am. another marked police car reg
    WI 7501 was parked outside Wellington Polytechnic,
    Wallace St, Mt Cook, on a garage entrance and dotted** yellow line,
    on the footpath near ped Xg. I stopped the bus and got off
    at a service station to ring '111' and report it.

    Police Complaints Authority (Judge IA BORRIN) was silent after 8 months investigation on whether Newtown Constable Karen Ellis visited my house and lied that I e-mailed lotto numbers to her. I have 4** other witnesses whom Constable Ellis harrassed similarly. I am claiming $100,000.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 58 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Grevers,

    This possibly counts as supreme irony - When I first read about McDonald being fined in the print edition of the Taranaki Daily News, the article suggested that he was responsible for a high percentage of the BSA's workload. (25% if I recall correctly, instead of the actual 4 to 5%). This is a case of material inaccuracy, since it would prejudice some readers against Mr McDonald.

    New Plymouth • Since Jul 2011 • 143 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Grevers,

    Talking of inaccuracies, Stuff yesterday had a rather interesting take on the exchange rate when they reported that climate-related disasters (floods, tornadoes, drought and heatwaves) had cost the U.S.A $US35 Billion ($NZ 1.7 Billion) so far this year. Did some journo accidentally convert Yen?

    New Plymouth • Since Jul 2011 • 143 posts Report Reply

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