French President Francois Hollande demanded an inquiry Saturday after a mother lost her baby in giving birth in a car on her way to hospital because the clinic closer to her home had been closed in a health care shake-up.
“No French person should be more than 30 minutes from emergency care,” Hollande said, adding that “medical deserts” in rural areas were unacceptable.
The baby’s death occurred Friday in southwestern France’s Lot region as the mother and her partner were trying to get to a hospital more than an hour from their home near the town of Figeac.
They were forced to stop on a motorway as the birth began and the child died soon afterwards.
The local maternity clinic at Figeac had been closed in 2009 despite warnings from doctors and hospital staff as part of a policy to concentrate care in more modern establishments, often in or on the edge of major cities.
A national lobby group supporting neighbourhood hospitals called Saturday for a moratorium on the closure of maternity units.
Its president, Michel Antony, said that two-thirds of such units across France had been closed in the past 20 years.
“We are faced with the dominant ideology that concentrating is the solution, which is wrong,” he told AFP.
“If another maternity clinic had been kept in the Lot, yesterday’s drama would not have happened.”
[Image by the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs via Flickr, Creative Commons licensed]
Pompeo State Dept. homepage advocates ‘being a Christian leader’ — here’s why that’s more disturbing than it sounds
The link on the State Dept. homepage goes to a video and the text of Pompeo’s speech to the American Association of Christian Counselors in Nashville, Tennessee on October 11.
Russia denies US news report it bombed 4 Syria hospitals in 12 hours
Russia on Monday denied a US newspaper report that its warplanes bombed four hospitals in rebel-held territory in Syria over a period of 12 hours this year.
The Russian defence ministry rubbished the claim in a report by The New York Times, saying "the alleged 'evidence' provided by the NYT is not worth even the paper it was printed on".
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Black family arrested for ‘loitering’ on their own front lawn
On October 1, a black family was standing in the front yard of their home, when police approached. They were arrested for loitering even though they were on their own property, reports KYW news.
Loitering offenses have historically been used as a way to purge people seen as undesirable, such as the homeless, from public spaces.
Now, the family is demanding answers from the Chester Township Police Department in Pennsylvania.
"It's a terrifying thing. It makes me feel as though the police can knock down your door, and drag you out of your home at anytime," Rachel Briggs told KYW. "This is an incident that made me feel like I'm a prisoner in my own home," she added. Her sons and nephew were dragged off to jail, where they spent the night while the family scrambled to make their bail.