Letter: Empower mothers

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The Independent Online
Sir: Further to Martyn Long's letter (21 July), how much easier and cheaper it would be to prevent another case like that of Abbie Humphries, if all concerned simply recognised the right of a new born and its mother not to be separated. If mothers coming into maternity wards understood that all routine checks and procedures would be made in their presence, and that they would not be expected to go against instinct and hand over their new born to a stranger in a uniform, it is difficult to see how another such abduction could ever happen. Ward life could be geared to the fact that mothers would at all times remain responsible for their child.

It speaks volumes for medical attitudes that when I refused to allow a midwife to take away my new born son for a heel-prick test, I was told my presence would 'put the doctor off'.

Yours faithfully,


St Leonards on Sea, East Sussex

21 July