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neudel.qxd

[Re: "Code Blue Birth," May 15]

I found it disturbing that the article was framed primarily in terms of a battle between physicians over the credit for an analysis of the real nature of amniotic fluid embolism, rather than a battle between patients (and their families) and a medical profession more interested in its own convenience and kudos than in the welfare of those they are supposed to be serving. The problems of pregnant women (and female patients in general) are especially likely to be minimized, dismissed, or psychologized by doctors who cannot be bothered to do what they are being paid exorbitant sums to do--listen to the patient and address the problems she presents. The word "complaint" tends to figure prominently in physicians' reports of their women patients, usually with the implication that the complaints are unfounded or exaggerated and not worthy of the serious attention of a scientifically trained professional. Women patients are often stereotyped as "complainers" with that implication. The medical profession would do well to remember that "complaint" is also the word for the first pleading filed in a lawsuit.

Marian Henriquez Neudel, Esq.

Chicago

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