Quote of the Month (August 2015): EFM and Murphy’s law

5504534442_276860d5fa“EFM inventors sidestepped the scientific method and simply branded their machine a success. They failed to question the fundamental principles underlying EFM theory — the nineteenth century myth that asphyxia caused CP. Rather, influenced by twentieth century man’s newfound control over human disease, these inventors rushed EFM into widespread clinical use based on little more than anecdotes to prove their theory that EFM would reduce by half intrapartum deaths, mental retardation, and CP.

At exactly the same time, a revolution in legal theories and evidence law was taking place. Physicians confronting an exponential expansion of legal liability theories did whatever necessary to keep trial lawyers at bay. Defensive medicine appeared, and it was trial lawyers, not physicians, in charge of the decisions concerning how and when babies were born. And EFM met Murphy’s law.”

 – Thomas P. Sartwelle and James C. Johnston

Sartwelle TP and Johnston JC (2015).  Neonatal encephalopathy 2015: opportunity lost and words unspoken. The Journal of Maternal-Fetal & Neonatal Medicine, Early Online: 1–4
photo credit: labor – fetal monitoring via photopin (license)

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