Under the title Normal Delivery, an obstetrical teaching film purports to show the 'use of various drugs and procedures used to facilitate a normal delivery.' another 'normal delivery' film is a 'demonstration of a normal spontaneous deliery, including a paracervical block, episiotomy.'I really like the analogy of tinkering with the television.
These are the normal, noninterventionist techniques, the physician just helping things along. The analogy that comes to mind is of the person with a new color television, endlessly fiddling with the fine tuning, occasionally giving a whack on the side for good measure. The person's not really doing anything to the TV--not taking off the back panel or rewiring. Once the body is conceptualized as a machine, then it is going to be treated in much the same way as any other machine in our society--pushed to be more efficient, more economical, faster, neater, quieter. An infinite number of procedures and interventions are so readily normalized because that fits in with our view of the world: one is compelled to take action in order to get results. In medicine, as in much elese in technological society, even action with very little chance of success is preferable to no action at all, on the spurious assumption that doing something is better than doing nothing.