The very vivid memory of that moment, especially on this particular day, is why I feel extra sick about this latest news story starring terrible judgment and social media abuse... in the delivery room.
According to VICE, a Venezuelan student obstetrician named Daniel Sanchez took a selfie right at the moment a mom was delivering a new baby, and the mom appears naked in the background at one of the most vulnerable times of her life.
"Lady I can deliver your baby but first let me take a selfie," Sanchez apparently wrote on his Instagram page last week. The page is now private, but VICE reported on the story—saying the photo shows Sanchez smiling at the camera while the woman gives birth and her doctor's fingers are still in or near her vagina as the baby begins to crown—and retained the caption information.
Sanchez reportedly went on to describe his professional skills in the crassest terms I won't even repeat here—but in essence he bragged about his abilities to both bring babies into the world and then reconstruct their mothers' bodies to the point of "brand new, like a car with zero kilometers on the clock."
There's so much wrong with this that I probably don't even need to break it down, but let's start with this: shouldn't medical professionals in the delivery room be focused on the health of the mom and baby?!
His was vile and inexcusable behavior, I think. And so do about 4,000 people who signed a petition, created by Jesusa Ricoy of the Roses Revolution (which fights against obstetric violence around the world) calling for Sanchez to face discipline.
VICE also reports that Sanchez emailed Ricoy to apologize, but denied talking the picture himself and said that the mom gave consent).
But I'm not buying it. And my heart breaks for the mom who was used as a selfie prop during a defenseless, painful time—a time that was supposed to be all about her and her baby, not some self-promoting med student.
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