Letter: Ms S: the need for help and sympathy

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Sir: In November 1982, I was threatened with the same treatment as Ms S (leading article, 19 February), because my child was in the breech position. I was so frightened I left the country in order to give birth naturally, without any drugs and without being cut open. I had a wonderful, relatively pain-free birth and my daughter is now 14 years old and doing well.

As a mental health social worker, approved by the local authority, I knew exactly what doctors could do. Hence my flight.

Ms S has my fullest sympathy. Before her ordeal I am sure she was "in full possession of her senses" - by the time this saga is settled and over she may well be in need of the mental health services. Giving birth is stressful enough, but to have to contend with the full weight and wrath of the medical profession as well is enough to make any sane woman become ill. Ms S will need all the help and support we can give her.

MARY JEAN BOWLES

London SE8

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