I gave birth to 3 kids without any epidural. But it was a choice, me having quite a thing for pain and all. OK, the truth is that I was more afraid of having the big needle in my back than the pain from birthing and giving birth as I had suspected was all the faster when one could feel the pain.
Nevertheless, I am all for being given a choice : epidural or no epidural. Nobody should have to suffer pain if they do not want to. We all have the right not to suffer pain. Or so I thought.
I found out the other day that over here in Modena, an Italian friend would be giving birth this Summer without epidural through no choice of her own. Her clinic told her that it would be too expensive to hire an anaesthetist just for her. She could have chosen a clinic that could offer her this choice but those clinics who do often do not have a neonatology or neonatological reanimation service. In addition to that, until about 2 years ago, up to 6 women could be sharing the same ward after childbirth. Now, it would be 2 to a room. To think that I gave birth to all 3 in public hospitals in Paris and had always had a room all to myself - without having to pay a single extra cent for it. Spent our life complaining about the French medical system but finally it's really not so bad after all.
In 2004 I lost my paternal aunt and my father-in-law to cancer. This year, from the look of things, I would be losing my maternal aunt and a cousin of my dad's to more cancer. And cancer is synonymous with pain. Would their right not to suffer pain be respected? I sincerely hope so. Please do not let them suffer pain.