14 March 2010

Rock throwing probably also saves babies

An interesting follow up on my last post.

The Guardian reports that a US woman is five times more likely to die in childbirth than a woman in Greece.

I don't think anyone is seriously suggesting that Greek doctors are the bomb when it comes to medical services...so why?

The clue is that the deaths are coming in the black and native American populations, not among affluent whites.

Forget arguments about public health and about insurance. In my view it comes down to disempowerment. Mothers die because there are no consequences for those who let them die.

In Greece or France statistics like these would cause a riot. Hell, our cousins in New Zealand would be out in the street if they had childbirth mortality rates of a third world country.

But the US people take it without comment.

Anger and retaliation are what drives fairness, not hand wringing and talk.

I hope that if Australians had a government that would allow such skewed medical support, we would vent our anger.


  1. We do have such skewed mortality rates. Check out the statistics on our indigenous population.

  2. True. But it seems to me that our governments (both sides) have been trying initiatives for the last few years aimed at solving this problem. There was a report only last month the PM committed another $9m to this very issue.


    The gap is there, but it seems we're still committed to closing it.

  3. I wonder what people think on this:
    Has Western society as a whole become more complacent regarding potentially big issues such as certain group mortality rates, mentally disabled care or a number of other areas?
    Would our parent's or grandparent's generation be stamping the pavement and throwing rocks through government windows?

  4. Marcin. Welcome to the blog :)

  5. I also believe this is one of the downsides of not having a decent all in war every generation... I'll probably write on that issue sometime soon.

  6. Well it's a truism that all human power structures are self-corrupting -- be they born from the left or right wing.

    The only proven way to minimise corruption in human power structures is via oversight and accountability of those structures.

    The current US power structures hit their zenith when they circumvented oversight and accountability by inviting the Fourth Estate (ie., press / truth tellers) to become corporate enterprises (ie., to join the power structure they had once questioned).

    Status quos don't last forever -- the traditional press are now being replaced by their evolutionary successor (ie., community publishing in the form of Twitter / Blogs). This will, when its time comes, bring oversight back onto the now shamelessly corrupt ruling structures, resulting in a refreshingly healthy revolution.