I've got some tough words to say, and some tough parallels to draw but after seeing all the other angles addressed from judgment to relativism, I feel my point needs to be put out there.
This story did not surprise me because I see this happen to people frequently in many different topics. Such as women who are assaulted during birth, or just plain assaulted/raped. I am a rape survivor myself and have been helping other survivors for awhile. The predictability is in itself the tragedy.
It goes like this. First the woman is wronged, violated, lied to or misled. But instead of putting the blame on the perpetrator, she shoulders the full blame for whatever it might be, such as rape. Then because her mind cannot carry such a horrific burden, she goes into full denial, even pretending the rape never happened, it wasn't that bad, it was a misperception, etc.
This happens often in birth stories. Women (and their babies) are horribly mistreated, but then the woman turns around and almost worships the doctor. She thanks him and pays him. Instead of saying, "The doctor failed me and my baby" she says, "My body failed my baby but the doctor saved my baby!"
And you can see this clearly happen in Joshua's case. What these doctors did violated not only their own institution, not only the law, but also all common sense. They pressured a mother, lied to her, to solicit unnecessary surgery on a fragile baby with a severe heart defect. They chose to perform that surgery on him. And then they neglected him while he hemorrhaged and mistreated the hemorrhage many hours later.
By reading Jill's now-deleted blog post, you can see her take on the full burden of blame for her son's death. Not once does she speak out against the unethical doctors. Not once does she show any anger towards the surgeon who nicked her son's artery and caused a hemorrhage. Not once does she ask if the medical staff truly intervened soon enough or with the right tools. She takes on all the blame.
But a grieving mama can't handle that. No one can. So she deleted her blog post and is now in 100% denial, lashing out at innocent people who have nothing to do with Joshua's death instead of going after the REAL criminals, the doctors who are STILL practicing somewhere, the doctors who can do this to ANOTHER innocent baby without reprisal.
As someone who has worked through the stages of grief, who has taken on the blame and had to learn how get back to reality and NOT let the perpetrator get away with it, my heart breaks for Jill. The road she is walking is a dark and lonely one. I hope that she finds her way to a brighter one. And I hope someday Baby Joshua, and all babies who are forced to experience genital surgery against their will, find justice.
While on this topic, I wanted to expand my thoughts. I've been bumping into similar defense mechanisms in all of these topics the past week.
I am depressed at the way the survivors have to shoulder the blame. I've been talking about this issue all week... How the mamas are lied to, bullied, misled, pressured, etc into a variety of things and then THEY have to take the blame.
Thnk about our culture. A woman is raped or sexually assaulted and then SHE takes on the judgement. She is gossiped about in our culture..."too short of a skirt" "well you were asking for it" "well that's what you get for being pretty." HER body led the poor chap to attack her, apparently. She's at fault for not stopping the violation.
A woman is led to an unnecessary c-section and then SHE takes on the judgment, the comments...she claims her body failed. Others imply she wasn't enough of a "woman" to birth her child. If her child is injured or killed or deprived of certain physiological aspects such as gut colonization or bonding, does the doctor face condemnation Does the doctor stay up at night, thinking about the baby? Does the doctor have a scar on his stomach to remind him daily?
A woman is given outdated, ridiculous advice on how to latch on her baby or supplement. And SHE has to pay for processed cow's milk. SHE has to wake up in the night and feed her child a bottle. SHE has to care for her child after numerous ear infections or stomach bugs. It's all on HER. Not the nurse or formula industry who LIED to her. Then she has to listen to all the judgmental remarks about formula feeding and catch the judgmental glares in public.
A woman caves into the pediatrician's pressure to vaccinate her daughter and then SHE takes on the responsibility. SHE holds her screaming baby all night long. SHE watches her child slowly disappear. SHE bears the looks and the rude comments in public. SHE pays the medical bills. SHE drives her child to therapy. Does her pediatrician do any of this? Heck, you can't even sue the vaccine companies.
A woman is outright LIED to about circumcision and signs the paperwork. AND SHE LOSES HER SON! Did the surgeon even get re-training? Is it even in his file? What about the doctor who lied to her about reasons to circumcise before his 3rd stage of heart surgery was complete (or ever in all reality)? Does the doctor have to tell the siblings that their brother died? Are the nurses going to plan the funeral?
I'm DONE with this ridiculous bowing down to the perpetrators who run over the lives and wellbeing of babies and mamas without any consequences. And in fact, not only do they get the satisfaction of avoiding any condemnation or justice, but the mothers turn to them and fawn on them and release them of any responsibility!
I'm DONE with our hypocritical, judgmental society, that shoves the mama to the cliff, that tips her over the edge and then condemns her when she falls off into the abyss with judgment, rude commends, glares and cold shoulders.
I hear this EVERY DAY. I kid you not, every day I hear from a woman who was violated or her baby violated. EVERY DAY. But so few go on to press charges or sue or even speak out. It is changing. Slowly, with the communities available online, women are finding the strength to acknowledge the violations and to speak out against the perpetrators. I hope Jill and all other parents out there find the strength, too.