Guam -Senator Judi Guthertz has entered the controversy over epidurals at Guam Memorial Hospital issuing a release and sending a letter to GMH demanding “an explanation” from Acting Administrator Ray Vega.
In her release, Guthertz writes that she finds the lack of availability of epidurals “troublesome as well as highly unethical and discriminatory to women.” And she asks whether the low number of epidurals provided is due to “financial constraints or a belief that it is acceptable for women to experience pain during the birthing process?”
READ Senator Guthertz’s release in FULL below:
April 9, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SENATOR GUTHERTZ DEMANDS AN EXPLANATION FROM GMH: IS LACK OF EPIDURAL ANESTHETICS FOR WOMEN DELIVERING CHILDREN A MONEY ISSUE, OR IS IT ACCEPTABLE FOR THEM TO EXPERIENCE PAIN DURING BIRTHING?
Guam Legislature Assistant Majority Leader Judi P. Guthertz has written to Guam Memorial Hospital Authority Administrator Ray Vega, echoing concerns recently expressed local OB-GYN Dr. Thomas Shieh and other Guam physicians about medical supply policies.
Dr. Shieh and his colleagues have complained that the anesthetics are not available from Guam Memorial hospital supplies.
“I find this GMHA management decision troublesome as well as highly unethical and discriminatory to women,” Senator Guthertz wrote. “Is your
decision based on financial constraints or a belief that it is acceptable for women to experience pain during the birthing process?”
Senator Guthertz quoted international standards stating that it’s unacceptable in any other case to not treat patients for severe pain while under the care of a physician.
“Women in labor ought to, as should all patients in Guam, expect the very best of acceptable medical standards from their only public hospital. Epidurals should not be withheld or unavailable for mothers in labor when requested,” Senator Guthertz said