A “cold case” of neonatal death in Italy: a fulfilling prophecy or a lesson not learnt?
In Italy, there was a recent great uproar in the aftermath of the tragedy of a 3 day-old newborn, who died in Pertini Hospital in Rome while rooming in and sleeping right next to the mother, and was reported by the media as having suffocated. There is surmounting evidence in the literature highlighting how the human major life events of birth in health systems have regressed to “dehumanizing” childbirth practices [6,7]. This is aggravated by the budget cuts and dire shortage of healthcare workers, that has negatively impacted the effectiveness of healthcare services. The decline in healthcare systems is mainly reflected by the lack of adequate perinatal care due to the widespread elimination of most of the psychosocial and ethical achievements in perinatal care that had been developed and attained in the last decades. This very critical issue does matter as well to caregivers, and in particular researchers and clinicians. Hundreds of research works, papers and reports, as well as many European projects, could risk to appear quite useless if they do not result in voices heard by the whole society, starting from the scientific community, patient advocacy groups, policy makers, managers, and so on. As women, clinicians and mothers, we understand now more than ever the real lesson of the pandemic: a mandatory change in childbirth culture, spaces and practices.
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